When done right, a science fiction or fantasy film will leave audiences with a prescient glimpse into our actual gadget future. Remember the heady pre-iPhone, pre-Pureness days of 2002 when you first saw Minority Report? Staring silently, mouth agape, jonesing for a chance to partake in a multi-touch, transparent display future using nothing but gestures? Well now that Iron Man 2 has been released, we've got another chance to look into the high-tech crystal ball, this time envisioned by a team of artists at Perception who did the design, animation, and visual effects work that turned Tony Stark's transparent LG smartphone (pictured above), touch-screen coffee table, and holographic lab environment into an on-screen reality. The group was compelled by director Jon Favreau and the team at Marvel Studios to keep the UI elements "legible and logical, while still appearing to be several generations beyond the typical user experience." Perception tells us that some of its inspiration was directly attributed to Engadget as it researched near-term technologies for the film's future reality. No doubt, we do see influence from Emblaze's First Else navigation elements and limited color palette as well as Microsoft's InkSeine research at the heart of the doomed Courier UI. And if we're not mistaken, Stark's big ass computing table is almost certainly inspired by Microsoft Surface. Now get past the break and check out Perception's contribution to Iron Man 2, the future of Google search alone is not to be missed.
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Iron Man 2: The technology (video)