Everything Is An iPod In The Future


(permanent link) added: 2009-10-09 00:19:25 sponsor: Sabre_Justice (last reply: 2009-10-09 00:19:25)

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As The Aesthetics of Technology chance, our vision of the future does too. Raygun Gothic gave way to Crystal Spires and Togas, in turn supplanted by Used Future and Cyber Punk (and then all kinds of Punk Punk). At the time of this writing, the most common style for the future is a mix of all of the above, plus... well, the iPod.

Right now, being cutting-edge is all about plain black and white (maybe pastel colours if you're lucky), smoothed edges, screens that slide and flip out, touch screens, unobtrusive buttons, lights that come out of nowhere and catchy little chimes when they start up. And of course it's all small and convenient. For current evidence, look no further than the success of the iPod range, its imitators and other things that have adapted the style, such as pretty much the entire range of the latest game consoles.

Everything Is Online, and physical data storage either consists of an equivalent of a USB thumbdrive or not at all, considering computers are so small and compact you can carry them anywhere and transfer data wirelessly. Interfaces are designed to be soothing, user-friendly and colourful, and if intelligent it'll probably be annoyingly helpful.

Contrast Raygun Gothic, which is its opposite in a number of ways.

  • The Star Trek reboot had notorious Product Placement with the system built into a vintage Cool Car. The new Enterprise itself is a mix of stylistic throwbacks but the general design seems a lot smoother than remembered. It helps that the plain white and minimalism of the old series adapts fairly well.
  • EVE in WALL•E is basically a floating, sentient iPod space probe that appears to be made mostly of curves, folds up neatly, is packed with features and even plays the iPod jingle on startup. She was actually designed by Apple, mind you. Interestingly, she's paired with Used Future poster bot WALL-E, and most of the other 'bots in the movie are styled somewhere between the two.
  • The film I, Robot pulled this off in a Twenty Minutes into the Future setting. The latest line of robots are mostly plain, slightly transparent white, with visible blue and red lights, and very advanced (suspiciously so...). Even some of the other technology has a similar aesthetic; a security monitoring system consists of a thin strip of blue light.
  • The shiny areas of Minority Report.
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