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10 Futuristic User Interfaces

Good user interfaces are crucial for good user experience. It doesn’t matter how good a technology is — if we, designers, don’t manage to make user interface as intuitive and attractive as possible, the technology will hardly reach a breakthrough. To gain the interest in a new product or technology, users need to understand its advantages or find themselves impressed or involved.

And here is where creative ideas and unusual interface approaches become important. Innovative doesn’t mean usable and usable hardly means innovative. As usual, it’s necessary to find an optimal trade-off. And some user interfaces manage to achieve just that.

Below we present 10 recent developments in the field of user experience design. Most techniques may seem very futuristic, but some of them are already reality. And in fact, they are extremely impressive. Keep in mind: they can become ubiquitous in the next years.

You may also want to take a look at the related posts:

Fez: 2D/3D Gaming Experience Link

Over years we’ve managed to get used to traditional 2D gaming experience. Fez3 provides gamers with a new perspective for a new level of gaming experience. Things start to get interesting on 00:30. [via]

Futuristic Glass Link

This futuristic concept4 aims to integrate the capabilities of online-services in our daily life. Since web users can now access the Web everywhere and all the time, one can use their mobility for a number of useful applications. For instance, to provide assistance in a city guide, translate texts, look up some data in encyclopedia etc. A futuristic concept which is likely to become reality in the near future.




Aurora User Interface Link

Recently Adaptive Path has presented a new browser concept which was developed in partnership with Mozilla Labs and is an ongoing initiative to encourage designers and developers to contribute their own visions of the future of the browser and the Web.

The main idea of the concept is to represent users, places and virtual objects within a three-dimensional user interface (spatial view). The interaction with objects is intuitive and follows physical rules from our daily life: users can grab, lift, pull, push and drop everything.

The interface is event-based as users and updates are displayed on the screen on demand; communication and collaboration is embedded in the browser. Related objects are grouped into clusters which can be navigated using a dock at the bottom of the screen.

jDome: New Level Of Gaming Experience Link

John Nilsson’s jDome8 lets gamers see about 50% more of the game they are playing. The main idea behind the interface to to alter the Field of View (FOV) in a game with a few simple commands and use a projector to provide gamers with a 180-degrees of game display.


“Just put a jDome in front of a projector, mirror the image in the projector, start your game and change the Field of View in it. You don’t need special computer hardware or software — just one projector and a jDome display.” [via10]

Motorolla Sparrow Link

Motorola Sparrow11 is supposed to provide retail stores with a mobile point of sale device to make it as easy for customers to pay for a product and leave the store. It combines a scanner, point of sale (POS) system, RFID, communication and credit card reading capabilities into one mobile device.



Both the front and back of the Sparrow are equipped with touch sensitive areas, supposedly making it easier to navigate and use. Beautiful design and really appealing user interface. Designed by Aruliden Studio. via14]

Tilty Snake Link

Tilty Snake15 uses the accelerometer in a Monome 64 to create a new interface for the old mobile phone game Snake. Works out to be very tactile, intuitive, responsive and quite fun. Simple and beautiful. We, at Smashing Magazine, would love to see the same design for our beloved Tetris. Probably we’ll see more tactile interfaces in the future. And why is iPhone actually not tactile?

Brainloop: Thought Control Link

BrainLoop16 is an interactive performance platform that enables users to manipulate objects on the screen with pure brain — by imagining specific motor commands, without single touch or click. We are not sure how effective this approach is, but it is definitely an unusual user interface.

Eyeliner 3D Link

Eyeliner 3D17 is a high-definition projection system by Musion basically uses innovative HD video projection to produce three dimensional, holographic images within a stage setting. Recently, it was used to promote Toyota’s Auris at the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Europe, as well as for a fashion show. We’ll definitely see more holographic user interfaces in the future.

Ringo: Holographic User Interface Link

Ringo18 is a concept which demonstrates simple possibilities of having the holographic shadow instead of a PDA or a cell phone. It’s not produced and not developed yet. But it looks very promising and like something we may really get used to in the future. Developed by Ivan Tihienko.

Composition of the table Link

Composition of the table19 was designed by Toshio Iwai to create the mixed reailty experience: the user interface blends images and sounds for rich user interaction. “Projectors suspended from the ceiling project computer generated images onto the tables and interfaces. This images change in real time as if they were physically attached to the interfaces when players operate them.


Also sounds are produced in relation to the movement of images. Since the interfaces have close relation to the reaction of images, players can operate images and sounds in the same way when they operates ordinary interfaces and gradually feels these illusions as equivalent as the actual objects. Push, Twist, Turn and Slide are the four features that each of the table specializes in.” [via]

uvLayer: Drag’n’Drop for videos online Link

uvLayer21 is a web application that is built using the AIR engine and offerse its visitors drag and drop user interface for videos. Users can move videos around, drag them, select the best ones visually and group them as one would do it in a real life. Such RIAs are expected to become a standard in the future. [via22, thanks, Lionshare]


Last Click Link

Housed in the Comcast Center, this 10-million pixel video wall is touted as the largest four-millimeter LED screen in the world, measuring 83.3ft x 25.4ft. It’s an automated control room, home to 27 000 gigabytes of information, six dx-700 led digitizers, seven encore video processors and three matrixpro routers.

You may also want to take a look at the related posts:

Footnotes Link

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SmashingConf Barcelona 2016

Hold on, Tiger! Thank you for reading the article. Did you know that we also publish printed books and run friendly conferences – crafted for pros like you? Like SmashingConf Barcelona, on October 25–26, with smart design patterns and front-end techniques.

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex UX, front-end and performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

  1. 1

    AWESOME !!!

  2. 2

    Steven Sergio

    August 17, 2008 4:59 pm

    Yeeeeaaah, Smashing is back!!!

  3. 3

    Wow. What a great article!

  4. 4
  5. 5

    I from china ,This website is very attractive

  6. 7

    There actually is at least one accelerometer-controlled snake game for the iPhone.

  7. 8

    Wow, very nice! I really love Aurora even if I think it looks a bit confusing… I would be better with less things on the main screen. Thanks for this nice post!

    Geek and Hype

  8. 9

    August 17, 2008 7:37 pm

    a very great list.thanks for sharing.i really like the apple and the table like Micro surface.
    check it

  9. 10

    uhhm no mention AT ALL about the Iron Man HUD? If you call it futuristic that one has to be way up there. Just as the “fake” concept displays that only exist digitally the Iron Man’s HUD was thought up with real world problems in focus.

    not overly impressed.

  10. 11

    Nice finds.

    How about an innovative, drag and drop UI for video — take a look at

    also.. what about Perceptive Pixel?

  11. 12

    Didn’t the 2d to 3d UI appear in Super Paper Mario?

  12. 13

    Nice concepts

  13. 14

    MATRIX is HERE :) (brainloop)

  14. 15

    Gud piece!

  15. 16

    Aurora can look a bit of the scale yes, but something needs to change the browser. Its one of the computers most important tools and its lookes and function has been the same since …. well forever
    Think about it 10 years and now we got windows with tabs WOW! really, a tab, woohoo!
    thank you Mozilla for stepping it up

  16. 17

    Smashing, what have you guys done? How do I move to the next article without returning to the homepage?

  17. 18

    Toni Trivković

    August 17, 2008 11:21 pm

    Ringo: Holographic User Interface

    wow that’s awesome

  18. 19

    GREAT!! Smashing Magazine back on track!!

    aurora looks promissing! cant’t wait till the future is here!

  19. 20

    Really great article.
    I was very impressed by Ringo: Holographic User Interface it look like very good and practical idea.
    And as a gamer i really liked the idea of jDome: New Level Of Gaming Experience

  20. 21

    the best article of this month


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