Yesterday's Vision Of Tomorrow's Interfaces, In GIFs

The future of interfaces often looks just like the present, but in neon.

Interface from Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

Ubisoft

When Ubisoft announced Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon on April 1, everyone assumed it was a joke. Retro, 16-bit style, and a plot set in the "futuristic year 2007" all indicated a prank built on nostalgia for videogames from the 1980s. But the game appears to be real, retro-futurism and all.

To design Far Cry 3, the artists had to create a computer interface that would look futuristic in the 1980s, even though the story is set six years ago:

Of course, the 80s wasn't the only era for ridiculous sci-fi interfaces. The Awl has a great piece on how Minority Report's interfaces, which seemed so futuristic in 2002, were just a fancy packaging of already-existing technology.

Here are some other cool interfaces from science fiction:

Magi, a trio of supercomputers from the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, are shown here in the process of being hacked. If only cyber threats were that easy to spot!

This image comes from the anime miniseries AD Police, a cyberpunk detective story made in 1990.

A computer that prints out what looks like electrical schematics on receipt paper.

Here is a image of a backlit keyboard from 1988's Akira.

All these animated .gifs come from the "Futuristic User Interface" tag at VisualPunker's tumblr. There are plenty more to check out.