How to fix the holographic displays in Picard

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by Romulan_spy, Jul 15, 2020.

  1. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the LCARS were supposed to be completely customizable based on the mission or task or person using them. Obviously, we did not really see that on any of the shows. But I think a touch screen interface that the computer can intelligently customize for the user based on what they are working on, is a futuristic idea. Too bad, we never really saw that. But I think it is possible to make touch screen LCARS futuristic.
     
  2. Hades Temperature Checker

    Hades Temperature Checker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Of course it is possible. And that's why you have people trying to make it as a UI of some kind for contemporary devices.

    But, I don't look at LCARS in the show and go "Wow, that's so futuristic!" I go "OK, let's move on with the story."

    And, I think that's another reason why the holograms don't bother me. They are a set-dressing. As much as people want to believe that Trek is a projection of humanity's future design language within it is still designed with a TV show in mind. It will be overdesigned to pop more, you'll have moving bits that are designed to simulate activity.

    Actual UI will be, as you say, in customizable, but that's not TV production.
     
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  3. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Honestly, I can't look at early TNG without thinking it looks so incredibly 80s. Though really that's mostly the fault of the hair styles, especially Troi's and Beverly's. PIC will look just as dated in thirty years no doubt (especially since the entire male cast has that long-haired shaggy dog look that's popular at the moment).

    Okay, listen, I gotta stan Mike Okuda here and defend his honor. It's not a matter of Okuda and the scenic art department didn't "bother" to create a logical LCARS with actual information. It's a matter of, he designed a system that was economical to produce and which would look good on the standard-definition television sets of the era (and which were never designed to withstand the level of scrutiny the high-definition remaster of TNG subjects it to). His LCARS aesthetic was designed to create the impression of lots of complex information for an audience of viewers the vast majority of whom did not own personal computers and did not have experience with graphical user interface operating systems. Mind you, they created all those displays by hand (since they were hand-drawn and gel-lit) and on extremely tight deadlines -- and, his work anticipated the rise of touch-screen GUI technology decades before it would become commonplace.

    Later on, as personal computers became popular in the consumer market and a larger percentage of the audience had experience with GUI OSes, you can see that his Okudagrams became more sophisticated and started to have more actual info on them, to reflect audience experiences. The art departments had also developed more efficient ways of creating those displays, and started integrating actual computers into the scenic art. Then, when high-definition cameras came to be used on ENT, Okuda and co. created computer screens that had more legible information and could withstand the kind of scrutiny his earlier work hadn't been designed to withstand.

    So, no, it's not a matter of "didn't bother." It's a matter of, Okuda and company met the particular artistic challenges they were presented with, within the production deadlines and budgets they were given. It is not their fault that modern audiences looking at Okudagrams from 1987 expect more from them than could reasonably have been anticipated of future audiences at the time of the original production. Okuda and co. are legendary for how hard-working and dedicated they were.

    In conclusion, we need to evaluate their work based upon the goals and limitations imposed upon them at the time of production, and we have no choice but to stan. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
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  4. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks for the great info. :)

    I did not mean to attack Okuda's honor. I was merely trying to make a point about how the LCARS might not look right but are still a good concept. But you certainly make a good point about how the production constraints affected the LCARS design.
     
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  5. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    No prob! And I have no doubt that if they had had the time, budget, and modern audience expectations, they would have designed more detailed Okudagrams.
     
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  6. Large Gathering of Unmasked People

    Large Gathering of Unmasked People Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    LCARS was mostly static displays pretending to be touchscreen technology, when touchscreen technology was futuristic rather than commonplace. That's not going to cut it today. I accept the holo-controls as the next step forward in trying to keep Trek looking futuristic, regardless of whether they'd actually be practical.
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    And that's totally fair. I prefer LCARS but that's subjective of me.
     
  8. Hades Temperature Checker

    Hades Temperature Checker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Succinet and well put. I agree.
     
  9. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nope, me neither.

    How foolish of me.
     
  10. Llywela

    Llywela Commander Red Shirt

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    Somewhere, Patrick Stewart is giving this statement severe side eyes ;)
     
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  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Whoops!
     
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  12. Blip

    Blip Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm going with the assumption that they already have haptic feedback (after 20-odd years of holodeck tech they'd bloody well better do!), so AFAIC there's really only one thing they need to do to fix the holo displays: Make them appear with a semi-polarized background, so that they're not quite so needlessly hazy and transparent.

    If we had to endure that kind of implementation on a daily basis in the real world, we'd all be on Retinax-5 for the rest of our lives :P

    (Edited for the worst spelling ever lol)
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
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  13. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Even the future still has to be practical though. Touch screens are very practical which is probably why they are so ubiquitous now. I just think of LCARS as basically a type of UI that works on touch screens. It makes more practical sense to me than the holographic displays in Picard. Personally, having to hold your hands in the air and make hand gestures to do anything, seems very impractical and inefficient to me.
     
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  14. Hades Temperature Checker

    Hades Temperature Checker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Mileage will vary. Mostly because I see all the VR style tech out there that involves holding your hands out and making gestures.
     
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  15. Blip

    Blip Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It doesn't logically follow that you'd see holo interfaces take over everything, any more than VR has. There are some applications holos would be suited to, while for numerous others they're either not suited, or would just be overkill. IRL for decades we've had a variety of computer and game controllers existing side by side; more specifically mice, joysticks and keyboard cursor keys. They've continued to be used alongside each other, as each is better suited for particular applications/movements.

    For essential shipboard functions though (especially in situations where the inertial dampeners can't prevent users being flung side to side), holo interfaces suspended midair would be the absolute last input method I'd wanna use! :lol:
     
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  16. Hades Temperature Checker

    Hades Temperature Checker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't for a second think that the holo controls Rios is employing are going to be used in every application. I think there is a lot of generalizing regarding tech used on a specific ship customized by a specific person.
     
  17. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    How does he fly the shop, without using the holodisplays?
     
  18. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Actually, I would think a direct mind-machine interface like what we saw in the TNG episode "Nth Degree" with Barclay would be more futuristic and more efficient. Clearly, Starfleet as the tech to do it. Just attach a small device to your head and control the ship with your thoughts. It would be more efficient because it would cut out the time it takes to manually input controls on a physical interface whether it is a LCARS or a holo display.

    Alternatively, considering how powerful computers on Starfleet ships are and how advanced the artificial intelligence has become, I am surprised we don't see more ships simply controlled by the computer with only "big picture" input from the human crew. Clearly, the ships computer would be capable of flying the ship, fighting off threats, etc faster than humans can. That would be the ultimate efficiency. I know we saw some episodes of Voyager with the EMH taking command of Voyager in an emergency. I would imagine that in the Picard show, that Starfleet would have ECH's that can take command in emergencies. We even saw the Rios' holograms that could do something similar.
     
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  19. Hades Temperature Checker

    Hades Temperature Checker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Why not all of the above? Why limit it to just the expectation of one option? Rios like holograms, but others might prefer such an interface, or holographic crew.
     
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  20. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    As someone who's designed a lot of GUIs for video and computer games I can tell you that most of what passes for such things in sci-fi is rubbish. It's not thought through enough to pass the "smell test" if it feels logical. Most of these things are just chicklet buttons that might as well be off a 1960s mainframe, just represented as glowing squares in the air.

    Also, anyone who's ever had to work with vertical surfaces for hours on end will tell you how exhausting it gets to hold your hands and arms up for long periods of time.