Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson

Dillinger: Legacy

Here's a snippet of a blog post from ZDNet UK that I put up last night, in which I note that the man who really changed the Real World in Tron was Dillinger. After all, he's the man who gave us the ubiquitous touch screens that replaced keyboards back in the mid-1980s.

Dillinger, the father of ubi-comp:

Tron: Legacy was one of 2010's most anticipated movies, with a year or so's worth of teaser trailers and alternate reality games. We were lucky enough to get to a preview showing a couple of weeks ago, and it's one of those films that leaves you wondering about the technology its designers envisaged. Not the light cycles (as cool as they are, they're clearly fantasy machines!), what we're interested in are the Encom operating system and the touch screen tables used in the Encom offices.

The touch tables used in Tron: Legacy are an obvious descendent of the table Dillinger uses in the original film. In Tron, Dillinger logs onto the Master Control Program through his desk in Encom's offices. It's a desk that as well as having multiple windows (though they don't overlap and the fonts are really really large!) also has speech recognition tools – something we're still only just getting on our desktop PCs. Dillinger's terminal is more like today's Surface or iPad than an early 80s VDU – it's the birth of a ubiquitous computing world. I wouldn't be surprised if the original film's industrial designers had spent some time talking to the folk at Xerox PARC…

Read the rest at ZDNet UK.
Tags: blogs, writing, zdnet
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