Behold, the shape of the future.
There's something about hexagons which make them look inherently advanced. This makes sense, since they're inherently Awesome yet Practical
. They slot together like squares, but look more complicated despite being more efficient to build with (a given hexagon has the most area inside for the length of its sides, hence why bees use hexagonal honeycombs for storage; beeswax doesn't grow on trees). Not to mention even the name hexagon sounds a little futuristic.
The hexagon's efficiency in nature might go some way to explaining the origin of this trope. Much like smooth sleek curves
and solid, practical looking blocks
, there are plenty of reasons to incorporate hexagons into real world scientific and engineering projects
. Most notably dome structures
(since they're much easier to produce a curve with than squares), solar panels (which benefit from the aforementioned area-to-edge ratio) and hexagonal floor tiles
(which look cooler than boring old rectangles). In addition, many polymers, semiconductors and other advanced materials use carbon, which is naturally inclined to form hexagonal molecules due to the way it bonds (it's this structure that gives diamond and other carbon compounds their strength note
The Beehive Barrier
is a very common subtrope. Compare Everything Is an iPod in the Future
and Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future
. Contrast Zeerust
(which this trope may well become when Science Marches On
). See also: The Aesthetics of Technology
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Anime and Manga
Films - Animated
- Chicken Little in Disney's adaptation is hit in the head by a high-tech hexagon that automatically adjusts to its surroundings to make itself invisible. The hexagon turns out to be a panel from the hull of an invisible alien spaceship.
- Aside from being centered on bees, Bee Movie makes a point of showing hexagons as not just a construction artifact, but ostensibly as a high-technology business organization (Honex, the primary employer of the protagonists' hive, is a member of "The Hexagon Group"), owing to the lengths the bees go through to refine their honey.
Films - Live Action
- In Fantastic Voyage, the shrink ray room had hexagons all over the floor. The ship rose up on one of them once it got small enough, so that it could be shrunk one more time, and then readied for insertion into the guy's body.
- The tactical displays on the Klingon cruiser's bridge in Star Trek: The Motion Picture were hexagon-heavy.
- The ship models and corridor sets of The Liberator in Blakes 7 feature hexagons prominently.
- In Doctor Who, the insides of the TARDIS walls often have a hexagonal pattern on them, and the TARDIS console is hexagonal.
- In Viper, the titular high-tech supercar had an armored body/shell comprised of hexagonal tiles. Though they were normally blended together in such a way that the seams were invisible, they manifested when the vehicle suffered damage, or transformed to or from its 'less conspicuous' street car mode.
- BIONICLE: In pretty much all the graphics of 2006, plus a large amount of the graphics from 2007 and 2008, there are hexagons in the background, most likely to give the images a high-tech feel.
- They even changed the shape of the Matoran alphabet characters from circles to hexagons. It does make you wonder, though, why they didn't use hexagons in 2004, when the futuristic city of Metru Nui was the main setting.
- Gogos has a Mega Metropolis series with a hexagonal shaped 'home' for each gogo.
- 'Hex Bugs' are intelligent nanobots about the size of a pen lid or marble. If the name didn't, the logo◊ says it all.
- The Hexagon Shields from Hero Factory.
- Regularly used in strategy wargames after it was found that hexagons allow subtler movement then squares.
- Infinity loves this trope. Try to count all the hexagons on the official site.
- GURPS uses hexagon maps for tactical movement.
- Like GURPS, Champions also uses hexagons for movement, and its underlying system, Hero, uses one in its logo.
- Crysis uses this trope excessively: all Crynet technology is covered with hexagons, be it the Nanosuit or the CELL guns; even the Crynet logo is made of 120° angles.
- In Deus Ex: Human Revolution Adam Jensen has a hexagon imbedded in his forehead with a little logo in it.
- Not even just Adam, but anyone with a neural implant has a subtle or obvious hexagon indentation in their heads.
- While the game's art makes a lot of use of triangles, hexagons do come in close second, being seen on armor and briefly before Adam cloaks himself to become invisible. Not only that, but if you squint at his combat vest, it is made up of minuscule hexagons.
- Fallout: New Vegas has an area in the futuristic Old World Blues DLC called the X-66 Hexcrete Archipelago, consisting of massive hexagonal structures made of concrete. Appropriately, they do nothing in the game other than look cool.
- In Fracture, Mariko has a high-tech suit with a hexagonal overlay on parts of it.
- The logo of Mass Effect's Cerberus has a hexagonal shape and uses some materials with hexagonal surface patterns.
- In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, hexagons are a recurring pattern throughout the story, but it gets really extreme once you enter the final "dungeon". The Big Shell's outer buildings were hexagonal, the shells themselves form a double hexagon, some of the textures on Raiden's stealth suit exude a hexagonal pattern, the skin of arsenal gear itself is covered with a hexagonal pattern. The game case design had a hexagonal pattern on the back of it, so did the original disc. Most official supplemental materials (strategy guides, concept art, making-of materials) had either subtle or blatant hexagonal themes. In fact, since Metal Gear Solid 2, hexagonal design has been a really big thing to them.
- In Persona 4, Rise's Persona Himiko is depicted as a woman with a satellite as a head, complete with hexagonal patterns.
- Solatorobo: The Futzu Tower, which contains a highly advanced AI, features a lot of hexagons.
- Two of the three Sonic Advance games featured high-tech, futuristic levels, both of which featured hexagons ad nauseum.
- Sonic Adventure 2 uses quite a few as well. A lot the moving platforms in City Escape are hexagonal prisms.
- In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, the Empire of the Rising Sun's tech.
- Rise Of The Reds: The Nano Shock Absorbers that can be installed on various European vehicles have a hexagon-shaped tile pattern.
- StarCraft II presents these on the loading and menu screens. They also appear on some units and maps.
- DoDonPachi Daifukkatsu uses these both as high-tech and as part of the bee motif of the series. They're all over the ship select screen, and each cutscene starts with a bunch of hexagons flying onto the screen and attaching to each other to form a screen. The "Expert Items" in the Xbox 360 port's Arrange B mode are also hexagonal and appear in sets of six arranged in a hexagon.
- DoDonPachi Saidaioujou takes this Up to Eleven by putting hexagons everywhere — the golden star medals dropped by defeated enemies are now 6-pointed stars on a hexagonal background, the level results screen has hexagons everywhere, the bee items now appear on hexagonal stands, the Type-B helicopter now has 6 propeller blades connected in the middle by a hexagon, and the list goes on.
- In Halo, a lot of Forerunner tech incorporates hexagon shapes and symbols.
- The aesthetics of Super Hexagon basically run on this trope.
- Pokémon Black and White and their sequels use this frequently, from the healing machines in Pokémon Centers to the map of the game's region itself.
- In Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "Beyond the Farthest Star", the Enterprise crew discovers a highly advanced alien ship in orbit around a dead star. Said ship's interior structure is made up of interlocking hexagons.
- In 2012, scientists at IBM's T. J. Watson research center discovered that cylinder shaped molecules known as carbon nanotubes may work as a replacement for the silicon based microchip. The tubes are capable of delivering more power at such a small size without losing any control over the electrical current that flows through them. The tubes themselves are made up of hexagonal pathways, with electrical currents constantly making a path from one end of the tube to the other by going either left or right at each corner of the hexagon.
- Another hexagonal carbon molecule which has potential is graphene. In addition to being extremely strong and flexible, it's an excellent conductor of electricity. Applications include lightweight screens, semi-conductors and efficient room temperature alcohol distillation.