So, this is my first post in English. Thanks to the “Human-Computer Interaction” course at my school, I’ve finally took this chance.
In this post I’d like to summarize one of the ground-breaking animated film made by Pixar Studio. An animated film of which is not just “another” animated film. We’re talking about an Academy Award winning film, with one award for “Best Animated Feature” and 5 other nominations. I’m talking about “WALL-E”.
This 2008 film took us to the future, where the human civilization had vanished from the face of the earth. All that left is mountains of trash and WALL-E, a robot with its daily task as a trash compactor. One day, another robot named EVE visit the Earth on a mission to seek for plant, secure it, and send it to the mother ship where all the remaining human civilization settled. While on its mission, EVE and WALL-E meet and then become friends. WALL-E begin to grow romantic feelings towards EVE. And the rest of the film depict their journey to the mother ship and then save the Earth.
All right, the film was great and there was a lot of hilarious moment I laughed at really really loud. But now, I’d like to talk about the science fiction on this film. I’d like to talk about this film’s depiction of the technology in the future, especially the computer.
Well, first of all, the computer technology in this film is pictured as the main factor to the change of human behavior. Human is getting fatter, lazier, and anti-social.
How could this happen? It’s because the computer technology created by the human makes everything, well, too easy. If you see how the computer technology of today can make everything easy, well in this film the computer technology can make it even easier.
In this film, it seems that the whole ship is controlled by one master control. It controls everything. The weather (well, actually it’s kind of artificial weather), the temperature, and even the clothes, food and beverages consumed by the human.
All human, including our hero the captain, live and do everything on their ‘moving lazy chair’. And it’s not just a lazy chair, it’s the real deal. The sofa works like a terminal or a client, communicating with the server, the master control. Human in interacting with the terminal with voice input, or with a touch input to the virtual screen. This is interesting because the voice input can be done with a perfect natural human language.
The input is then translated to the computer language, processed, and the master control then make an action based on the command. The action could be in the form of a perfect natural human language, or if the human is asking for clothes, food, or beverages, the master control transmit the material to the ‘chair’ and then given or applied to the human.
The master control also take charge in navigating the lazy chair. The lazy chair follows the direction to the coordinate specified by the master control based on the destination input by the human. Every single lazy chair and robot is allocated some line space to move to the destination in such a way that the line is not crossing over another line. Elegant, right?
The input method on the virtual screen has actually been invented, but just not in the same media. The touchscreen technology that we love and praise today is using the capacitive media, while the touchscreen technology on the film is based on augmented reality technology. If both of these technology could be combined in some way, then … voila, it is possible that we human would end up laying on sofa all day talking to computer, just like on the depiction on the film.