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HCI 2013 International, www.hcii2013.org
Welcome Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
HCI International 2013
21 - 26 July 2013, Mirage Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Conference Management System

T15: HCI in Sci-Fi Movies and Television

Half Day Tutorial

Aaron Marcus (short bio)
President, Aaron Marcus and Associates, Inc., Berkeley, California, USA


Participants in this course will:

  • Understand how science-fiction movies and television have/have not incorporated fundamental principles of user-centered design to achieve usability, usefulness, and appeal
  • Understand the development of HCI/UX of science-fiction in the popular media over the past 100 years
  • Understand how to combine their professional knowledge of HCI/UX to look at popular media

Content and Benefits:


HCI in Sci-Fi Movies and Television will summarize and analyze the past 100 years of human-computer interaction as incorporated into science-fiction cinema and videos, beginning with the advent of movies in the early 1900s (Melies' "A Trip to the Moon," which was recently referenced in the recent movie "Hugo").

For many decades movies have shown technology in advance of its commercialization (for example, video phones and wall-sized television displays, hand-gesture systems, and virtual reality displays). In some cases mistaken views about what is usable, useful, and appealing seem to be adopted, perhaps because of their cinematic benefits. In any case, these media have served as informal "test-beds" for new technologies of human-computer interaction and communication. They provide ample evidence for heuristic evaluations, ethnographic enalysis, market analysis, critique of personas and use scenarios, and new approaches to conceptual and visual design.

The course will explore issues of what is "futuristic" and what is not, gender-role differences, optimism/pessimism, and user-centered design characteristics in more than two dozen films and a half-dozen television shows. Examples from China, India, and Japan will also be referenced.

Participants will be informally quizzed about their recognition of the media examples shown and their analysis of contexts, technologies, business models, user communities, and designs . Discussion with participants throughout the presentation will be encouraged.

Lecture Schedule with Time Allocation

Time Topic
14:00 Tutorial begins
14:00 - 14:15 Lecture 0: Introduction to Course and Background of Speaker.

This period will introduce the presenter, the course organization, and objectives. The speaker will ask about participants’ understanding of the topic and their own related experience especially across media and culture boundaries.

14:15 - 15:30 Lecture 1: CHI in Sci-Fi, including discussion by participants at each movie/TV program

Lecture sections:
  • My personal connection to Sci-Fi
  • HCI and Sci-Fi taxonomies
  • Early Sci-Fi/HCI cinema and video
  • Tour of recent cinema
  • China, India, and Japan
  • Further issues and some conclusions
15:30 - 16:00 Break
16:00 - 17:00 Lecture 1: Continued, including discussion by participants at each movie/TV program
17:00 - 17:30 Closing Discussion: Q+A, and Where do We Go From Here?
17:30 Tutorial ends

Benefits of the Tutorial:

Increased understanding of key issues, challenges, philosophies, and principles related to the tutorial topic
Incereased awareness of cutting-edge/future products and services related to the tutorial topic
Increased knowledge of how to use UX/HCI skills, expertise, and experience to analyze sci-fi media

Post-Conference Activities:

Following up from the conference, The speaker plans to send participants who wish to receive them additional papers, as well as an extensive bibliography and list of links relevant to the tutorial topic. They will be able to access and read the free eBook, which they can download, view the one-hour YouTube video, and join sci-fi and HCI discussion groups in the UK, Germany, India, China, and Japan, about which I shall inform them.

Target Audience:

The tutorial is appropriate for:

  1. Especially for people who are new to HCI/UX and to Sci-Fi
  2. People who have some experience with the HCI/UX and/or Sci-Fi
  3. People who have much experience with HCI/UX and would like to learn more about Sci-Fi

HCI/UX/CHI/Visua/Mobile professionals in these (alphabetical order) professions:

  • Analysts
  • Cognitive Scientists
  • Designers
  • Evaluators of usability and user-experience
  • Marketers
  • Researchers: Advanced R+D
  • Software Engineers


Bio Sketch of Presenter:

Aaron Marcus

Since 1982, Mr. Marcus has been President of AM+A. He has taught at six universities (Princeton, Yale, UC/Berkeley, Hebrew University/Jerusalem, Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design, and the University of Toronto). In 1992, he received the National Computer Graphics Association's annual award for contributions to industry. In 2000, the International Council of Graphic Design Organizations (ICOGRADA) named him a Master Graphic Designer of the Twentieth Century. In 2007, the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) named him a Fellow of for his work in cross-cultural design. In 2008, he was elected to the CHI Academy. In 2009, he received the UPA Service award for being Editor-in-Chief of UX Magazine for five years. He has given keynote plenary presentations ACM/SIGGRAPH 1980, ACM/SIGCHI 1999, UPA 2005/Montreal, and User Friendly 2012/Beijing. He is now a Master of the De Tao Academy in Beijing and is starting a Center for User-Experience Innovation in Shanghai. He is also an International Advisor to the Dragon Design Foundation, Beijing, China.

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