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Touchscreen Technology at the Movies

14 August 2015

Whether you’re a real Sci-fi buff, or just a fan of the latest Hollywood blockbuster, it’s hard to miss the increasing presence of touchscreen technology portrayed in TV shows and movies. In this blog, we’ve featured some of our favourite uses of touchscreen technology, from the handheld PADDs of Start Trek, to the super high-tech Marvel Avengers’ fleet carrier.

The link between science fiction and touch technologies of today, and the near future has existed now for almost 50 years.  The influence of science fiction on technological ideas is of course not limited to touchscreen technologies. In Simon Bisson’s article on the links between the two, he highlights:

“The connection is so profound that it comes down to the only difference between science fiction and science is timing,”… “Every generation imagines something they want to do and can’t do, so they write about it. That inspires the kids so that to go and accomplish it, they develop the technologies and the engineering toolset.”

Read more the full article

 Star Trek

Star Trek | Touch screen Technology
For those of you who are au fait in the realm of Sci-fi television, it will be no surprise that touchscreen technology’s debut on the small screen started as far back as the 1960s with Star Trek’s Starfleet hand-held units.

The somewhat bulky units received a sleeker upgrade to the “PADDs” as featured in Star Trek: The Next Generation, to what many households are more familiar with in the tablet form like devices.


Marvel’s Avengers

In a number of action blockbusters, touchscreen computer interfaces often provide the protagonists with insights of the enemy’s whereabouts, or control over defence and navigation. In the Marvel Avengers, touchscreen computer interfaces appear multiple times throughout the instalments, from free standing screen units, to large digital signage display screens and control panels.

Touch screen Technology in films

Inside Microsoft’s Envisioning Lab, this Hollywood vision comes to life in their Washington State headquarters. The lab is used to demonstrate their next generation technologies, as well as providing a stimulating environment for their software and hardware developers to explore new and exciting ideas for future development.

James Bond – Quantum of Solace

The sleek, large scale touchscreen table that featured in Quantum of Solace shows the effective and strategic use of a multi user interface in this form.

James Bond Touch Table

Come 2015 and the Secret Service have nothing on the art community in New York. The recent revamp of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum saw the installation of a number of multi touch 55” touchscreen tables that have dramatically heightened visitor experiences.


To Boldly Go Where No Touchscreen Manufacturer Has Gone Before

Taking inspiration from the influence that Star Trek has had on various technologies, our experimental Research & Development team have linked three concave curved screens together with a multi touch 55” touchscreen table.

Curved touchscreens with large format touch table

The “Bridge of the Starship Enterprise Demo” will link all four sensors together via bespoke software, with GUI to allow users to flick from the table to the curved areas, and then around the curved screens, for an “out of this world experience”!

Visit our Pinterest board for further examples of touchscreen technology at the movies