03 June 2010 3165 Views

Movie Tech Made Real: Back to the Future Hoverboard and Minority Report User Interface

by Dan Koelsch

Movies have the power to inspire in many ways. In fact, people will often find ways to make something that exists only in a movie. Recently, there have been two examples of life imitating art, with one practical application and one artistic. First, the technology from the futuristic Minority Report has been replicated, and second, an artist has recreated a working (sort of) hoverboard from the Back To The Future trilogy. Check them out below.

TED is a non-profit organization that has annual conferences focusing on what’s next in the world of Technology, Entertainment, and Design (hence the name). This year, John Underkoffler, the science advisor to Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, and spoke about how the user interface used in the film by Tom Cruise was pretty much achievable today. Take a look below.





Artist Nils Guadagnin has recreated the hoverboard from Back to the Future Part II that Marty McFly steals to escape Griff Tannen, which was itself an homage to the skateboard scene in the first film. While the fact that Guadagnin’s replica looks great would be cool enough, he takes it to the next level by making it actually hover. Sure, it’s not the same tech as the movie, and if you put any weight on it, it would fall, but stop killing my buzz. Read his description of how he did it and watch a video of the board below.

The Hoverboard is a project born in 2008 for an exhibition named “Back To the Future”. This work is a copy of the hoverboard from the movie Back to the Future II. Integrated into the board and the plinth is an electromagnetic system which levitates the board. A laser system stabilises the object in the air.
In the making of this work, I was thinking about different ways of presenting sculpture. In fact it’s a reflexion on the multiple possibilities of how to give a sculpture full spatial autonomy.





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