... and Avatar ...
20th Century Fox
... and naturally, good ol' Prometheus:
20th Century Fox
Why We're Not Using This Today:
We lose ten minutes of work time every time a pigeon lands outside our window. If you had to do your job next to a bunch of huge screens that kept looping through colorful graphics, you'd probably get quite distracted. And if your own screen insisted on performing a lovely animation every time you updated some data or asked for an analysis, you'd probably start daydreaming about Microsoft Excel for the first time in your life.
In almost every sense, these sci-fi screens are a huge step backwards compared to what we have now. Nearly all of them have low contrast (making it harder to read things at a glance) and a grand total of four colors, all of which are usually variations of blue and green. The Avengers:
Marvel StudiosThis would look better if they were all playing Galaga.
Mars (a National Geographic miniseries):
20th Century PicturesLast time, we promise!
Not only does this mean that you run out of ways to highlight important stuff quickly, but the preponderance of blue and lack of red tones can even be dangerous. See, when your eyes have adapted to a dark environment, light of any color except red will disrupt that adaptation. This is called the Purkinje effect. That's why interfaces for things like submarines and airplanes use a lot of red, which allows, for example, pilots flying at night to clearly see both the screen and the view outside their cockpit. But on the other hand, blue looks neater, so that's a fair tradeoff.
These sci-fi screens fail at the most basic function of a user interface: conveying information quickly and easily. Everything important is hidden in dense blocks of tiny text and numbers scattered around the screen. The only way the following screenshots make sense is if the characters have superhuman vision or magnifying glasses:
Marvel StudiosThe Avengers
Paramount PicturesStar Trek Beyond
20th Century PicturesAvatar
For comparison, here is a real-life NASA mission control room:
Note the lack of flashy animated visualizations. The multiple high-contrast colors. The text that is readable when you're at the intended distance. And Earth has yet to be attacked by alien invaders. Coincidence? We don't think so.
Prometheus isn't a bad movie, but please make sure you've seen Alien before watching Prometheus. We talk about that movie a lot on this site too.
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For more check out Supervillain Gadgets That Are Hilarious In Retrospect and 6 Sci-Fi Movie Technologies That Went Stupidly Backwards.
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