• 05.20.16

In This Sci-Fi Short, Our User Interfaces Rule Our Lives

Filmmaker Keiichi Matsuda imagines a future that is half reality, half high-stakes video game.

Jet-packs and flying cars once dominated our shared vision of the future, but these days the predictions take a more familiar tone. Virtual reality, wearables, and the Internet of Things, though still nascent, seem poised to bring about a future in which the physical world is constantly being altered by the digital one.


In Hyper-Reality, London-based designer and filmmaker Keiichi Matsuda visualizes that future with a short film set in a media- and technology-saturated Medellín, Colombia. Shown through the eyes of Juliana, a beleaguered corporate worker, the city becomes half reality, half multicolored interface, and life is a high-stakes video game. Medellín as we know it today is overlaid with holographic images, gamefied instructions (“get off the bus here”), and advertisements (“lose weight, feel great!”), while Juliana grows increasingly preoccupied with the safety of her “points.”

Matsuda calls the film a “science-fiction short for our time.” With Google stepping up the VR game this week, his vision doesn’t seem too far off.

About the author

Meg Miller is an associate editor at Co.Design covering art, technology, and design.