Microsoft XUI concept video series finale “Play”

The third and finale concept video in the Microsoft XUI series, “Play”, has now been officially published online by Invivia, the makers of the video. In contrast to the previous “Home” and “Work” videos released over a year ago, it is by far the most bizarre and incoherent of them all.

Although August de los Reyes screened this during his NUI session at TechEd Australia 2010 last week, I thought by looking at it a second time in full fidelity I would have a better understanding of what the hell is going on. That’s not the case.

Fortunately there is an official description that gives some insight into its intended effect.

The XUI series is a poetic exploration of how technology might invisibly integrate into our daily lives.

XUI Play, the third video, is a hyper-real portrayal of a dinner party where differing points-of-view create a complex array of conflicting interactions. The physical constraints of dining at a table can hold together conflicting opinions and desires inside of a singular activity. We are using this metaphor of a dinner party as an analog for collaborative computing. This video also investigates the cause and effect of small gestural interactions on an urban scale via the digital cloud. Here, analog devices behave in extraordinary ways with the hidden aid of technology.


14 insightful thoughts

  1. Wow. That’s either way over my head or just plain wacky. Reminds me a lot of the weird Sony PS3 ads that used to air.

    I liked the icons that showed up in the biker’s lane…reminded me of Mario Kart. If you run over one, will it make you go faster…?

    1. Those are just road markings showing that that portion of the road is reserved for bicycles. Add this to the previous scene (where the bridge extends in front of the walking guy), and maybe it’s about things (UI elements) appearing/changing on demand or something?

      1. I kinda wish my apartment lights went on or off on demand. That would be more useful than road signs that don’t show up until you’re actually on the road! The bridge scene was really cool…I kept wondering how you could actually make that happen. Should have been an engineer.

  2. huh? wtf? and any other puzzlement acronyms i can think of. Obviously I’m not intelligent or creative enough to understand this video and the two previous ones lol

  3. Your video is down:
    The requested URL could not be retrieved


    While trying to retrieve the URL: http://player

    The following error was encountered:

    •Read Error
    The system returned:

    (104) Connection reset by peerAn error condition occurred while reading data from the network. Please retry your request.

    Your cache administrator is webmaster.


    Generated Thu, 02 Sep 2010 08:40:51 GMT by (squid/2.7.STABLE6)

  4. hmm… when i see such kind of videos, i can’t stop thinking, someone is smoking too much. And smoking not a cigarette…

    1. You’re right. The two people at Microsoft shouldn’t work on anything other than Windows.

      1. I am saying the 100 people they have that to UX should sit in a room, get their heads out of the clouds and actually make their products look and feel consistent. We have seen many MS research projects, UI design projects come and go over the years, never really amounting to much at all. Some do, most don’t. Lets be frank, MS really isnt known for inventing things that matter (not that there is anything wrong with that).

        So yeah, spend some time actually focusing on making the products actually sold better, specifically look and behave better. Just the other day for instance, they finally released the WPF ribbon control, and in true MS style looks nothing like the one used in Office 2010. Really? They just look foolish. And you see the stuff in this video and you suddenly realize they just dont care.

  5. I thought it was pretty cool. Use your imagination people, don’t expect to be spoon-fed all the time. Think of the possibilities, concepts.

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