Here’s quick look at some of the FUI from the sci-fi film Extinction, which you can watch on Netflix. Although they don’t appear in the film much, the off-world tech is really quite interesting.
Off-world Gun UI
The off-world guns seem as though they are locked to the user. There’s one shot in the film that gives us a glimpse of the interface. The UI appears as illuminated buttons that are projected on the surface of the metal and makes for an interesting look.
It would be great to be able to project UI onto any surface from the material itself rather than an external source. My pet peeve with projected interfaces is that you often have to cross over the light beams to interact with it, and therefore obscuring the image. The Sony Xperia Touch is a prime example of this.
Off-world Wrist Projector
This example is really fun. I don’t think I’ve seen this used before in any other sci-fi films. Here we see an Off-worlder use its wrist-mounted UI, which activates with an initial spray of mist or smoke. Images are then projected onto the mist creating a volumetric display. Not only is this dramatic and visually appealing from a film sense but it’s actually quite feasible (see previous article on Displair). I really love how the image slowly appears and builds up as the mist fills up the space. The blue glow of the of the device through the smoke looks great too.
I think this works great for the film and brings something visually unique that I hadn’t seen before. The downside to this type of interface from a practical sense would obviously be its worst enemy…wind. This interface would simply not work in a windy environment, or if you were running. But that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. The film shows the UI being used whilst stationary and in a calm room. The Off-worlder is using this UI to look through maps and schematics and to plan its next move. So this design doesn’t necessarily need to be dismissed, as it could be quite practical for specific circumstances.
This was a fun film to watch. It’s received mixed reviews but I personally enjoyed it. The short glimpses of interesting UI was a bonus!