Today I was reading yet another article about how a movie, in this case Iron Man 2, shows a possible future for computing. I think its kind of silly to put much faith in devices designed for movies, but that’s not a surprise since I think the future of UI will be boring.
I’m not saying movies haven’t inspired people. Sure they have. Star Wars inspired me to draw, and play with lego, and think about all sorts of things. But I never actually made something I saw in Star Wars into a successful real product in the real world. And given the lack of working x-wing fighters and light sabers I’ve seen in the last 30 years, I’m assuming no one else has either. And that’s my hypothesis. Not that sci-fi movies don’t have a purpose, just that they’re lousy at predicting the future of anything, much less product design.
Even if there are some (star trek communicators = cell phones come to mind) the odds seem so bad: sci-fi movies are awful predictors. That’s my bet, but prove me wrong.
The question: Can you think of any specific design / UI / software / computer thing that was shown in a movie, and later invented for real, and became successful? Lets make a list.