The tech of Avatar

Last night a few of us in the team headed down to see Avatar in 3D.  There is always pride in seeing the latest movie out of Weta, who are also based in Wellington, New Zealand.

Avatar was breathtaking.  A stunning achievement. Coming from the software industry we have immense respect for the work required to make such an amazing experience.

The dialogue was a bit cheesy and very symbolic.  At least James Cameron resisted the temptation to have twin trees fall.

The Na’vi world, the hi-tech military vehicles and the office scenes were all different special effect challenges.

The office scenes I really enjoyed, especially the transparent curved screens.  It took about 6 years for Minority Report to lead to multi-touch on your iPhone, but transparent OLED screens have just been shown at CES – so maybe it’ll only be a few years until we have 60″ wrap around monitors.

They also showed the scenario of moving your work from a desktop computer to a handheld tablet.  If the new Apple tablet is not transparent we’re going to be disappointed!

The Weta Operating System seemed to be tab based. So not as much UI innovation there. But it worked well.

The way the Navi and their woodland creatures communicated via a universal biological connector was also interesting. Perhaps that will be in the USB v6 specification?

The 3D effects were quite mind blowing.  From the opening scenes the movie was magical. Even relatively simple things like the video logs were just neat in 3D. The way that focus shifted was very clever but subtle.

An absolutely fantastic movie which has left me absolutely dissatisfied with my current computing experience. I have seen the future and want it now. I hope Apple and Microsoft took note.

Well done Weta.

Go see it.


January 13, 2010 at 9:50 am

Having seen it myself this weekend I agree with your brief comments on the film. Certainly was stunning alright though the geek in me was wondering was wondering how the humans controlled the Avatars, it would need some sort of electromagnetic link which would be subject to interference, particularly in the flux vortex which supposedly would not allow such communication. Then there’s the floating mountains with their waterfalls. I am sure Einstein would have wet himself had he been alive to see it!

But don’t let that put you off, and make sure your disbelief is on maximum ‘suspend’ and you’ll love it!

January 13, 2010 at 4:42 pm

The world was mesmerizing. I haven’t experienced such a feeling before of wanting to actually be “in” the movie like I did when I watched Avatar. 10/10.

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