Design of Techno Environments in Movies

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Okay, this post is going to be a bit different from what we usually cover at Home-Designing. But have you ever wondered who designs those futuristic looking techno environments that you see in sci-fi flicks like Minority Report, Star Trek and the like? Answer: Companies like OOOii.

This Hollywood based company focuses on creating interactive custom environments for directors like Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams & Michael Bay. So what would a design brief from Spielberg sound like? Something like this:

Imagine a world where technology permeates all aspect of our lives in a way that both celebrates the feats of human innovation while at the same time incorporates the flaws of real world imperfection.

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This was the brief given to them for the movie Minority Report. As a response, OOOii introduced a world where computers and humans interact in meaningful ways each taking on tasks best suited to their abilities; gesture based interaction, massive live dataset visualizations, head tracking for immersive perception, environment initiated / controlled content, remotely served media onto non-traditional surfaces, computer assisted expert systems.

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MINORITY REPORT / Live Environment

Alex McDowell and the team from Three Ring Circus designed this memorable immersive environment in which an individual’s identity is scanned and the surrounding content responds by personalizing its message.

One can just imagine the pressure on these guys when they start out to design such environments. As OOOii puts it, the goal is usually this: “The spectacle must be epic, the inspiration must be unrivaled, the technology must be solid and the experience must be enlightening.” From the gesture based interfaces in Minority Report to the immersive technologies in The Island, from the power walls of Déjà Vu to the 360 projections in the much anticipated Star Trek, they bring custom large-scale immersive environments to life. These people get paid for the ‘wows’ they bring.

More of their projects follow:

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STAR TREK / 360º Environment

Production Designer Scott Chambliss wanted us to design the technology into an environment where all surfaces were prospective interaction points and the technology was truly ubiquitous across the entire bridge.

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THE ISLAND / Tangible Interface

Michael Bay gave us the challenge of designing the technology for a world where your every need is catered and your every move monitored. A futuristic colony and laboratory incubator coexisting as a self sustaining biosphere.

Seeing all this, makes one wonder, when will all this would be possible in the real world? Going by this video that previews a technology that was displayed at TED this year, we may not be as far as we might think.


(The video might be a bit long, but I promise, it’s worth it!)

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