futuristic user interfaces

An interface from 'Prometheus' (Scott 2012)

An interface from ‘Prometheus’ (Scott 2012)

The HUD of 'The Terminator' (Cameron 1984)

The head-up display (HUD) of ‘The Terminator’ (Cameron 1984)

VisualPunker has amassed a nice collection [containing a lot of animated gifs] of futuristic and retrofuturistic interfaces and HUDs from anime, other motion pictures, and computer games. In this respect I fullheartedly recommend Make it so: Interaction design lessons from science fiction (Shedroff & Noessel 2012):

Many designers enjoy the interfaces seen in science fiction films and television shows. Freed from the rigorous constraints of designing for real users, sci-fi production designers develop blue-sky interfaces that are inspiring, humorous, and even instructive. By carefully studying these “outsider” user interfaces, designers can derive lessons that make their real-world designs more cutting edge and successful.

Make It So shows:
    Sci-fi interfaces have been there (almost) from the beginning
    Sci-fi creates a shared design language that sets audience expectations
    If an interface works for an audience, there’s something there that will work for users
    Bad sci-fi interfaces can sometimes be the most inspiring
    There are ten “meta-lessons” spread across hundreds of examples
    You can use—and not just enjoy—sci-fi in your design work
    Over 150 lessons and 10 “meta” lessons that developers can use to enhance their realworld interfaces

There is a companion blog to the book, carrying additional visual material, interviews, and more. All this is a fine example of the to and fro between fictional and non-fictional technology, the mutual influences, one creating and reproducing the other and vice versa.

CAMERON, JAMES FRANCIS. 1984. The terminator [motion picture]. Los Angeles: Orion Pictures.
SCOTT, RIDLEY. 2012. Prometheus [motion picture]. Century City: 20th Century Fox.
SHEDROFF, NATHAN AND CHRISTOPHER NOESSEL. 2012. Make it so: Interaction design lessons from science fiction. New York: Rosenfeld Media.