Entertainment TED Conferences

How movies can influence technology

Posted by: Thu-Huong Ha

TED2013. Long Beach, CA. February 25 - March 1, 2013. Photo: Michael Brands

Last night at TED2013, the Motion Picture Association of America hosted a nighttime discussion on the topic of how film has shaped some of modern day’s most cutting-edge technology. John Underkoffler: Pointing to the future of UI John Underkoffler: Pointing to the future of UI The prime example: John Underkoffler’s user interface inspired by his work on Minority Report.

We were joined by Industrial Light & Magic, the visual effects division of Lucasfilm, responsible for films like the Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and Mission Impossible franchises. The aim of their work is primarily to inspire people with new fictional technologies, but even to encourage longing for those technologies to exist. Lucasfilm Chief Strategy Officer Kim Libreri and Industrial Light & Magic Art Department Creative Director David Nakabayashi discussed how technology gets involved before a script is even written. In the case of Minority Report, Spielberg consulted 50 scientists to ask them what the future would look like. And it seems films can even inspire real-world technology — they gave the example of digital surgery, which was inspired by The Matrix.