Remember the giant, interactive touch screen that detective John Anderton used to fight pre-crime in the movie, Minority Report? Remember how crazy and far-fetched that concept seemed at the time? And that was only 2002! Fast forward to present-day, and you will find the new Mill Touch at the center at our Mill New York office. Executed from concept to launch in-house by our NY Digital team, it is a rear projected, 5’x 3’ interactive touch screen panel made entirely of switchable glass.
One element of the touch screen that was very important to
perfect, was the design of the interface. Before arriving at the
final design decision several different prototypes of the idea were
tested. To ensure that the panel didn't evoke the feeling of
working off a desktop, much thought was taken to create a more
human-centric user experience. In the end, the final design chosen
mimics the look of the Milky Way, imparting the sense of infinite
opportunities and limitless possibilities.
While the design makes it attractive, the individual features of
the Mill Touch make it unique. The primary challenge from a design
and user experience standpoint was finding a way to best represent
the legacy and breadth of over two decades of The Mill's
repertoire. "It was crucial to create a system that allowed for
free-form exploration as well as targeted searches. The solution
was to offer multiple view modes for different user mentalities,"
explains Bridget Sheils, our Executive Producer of Digital.
The primary display reveals a galaxy of info-nodes, each
representing a Mill project. The nodes float in a highly responsive
celestial space made up of 2 million particles simulated in real
time. When one's fingers move across the screen, the particles and
nodes respond to the user's touch. The users can play with the
particle stream or interact directly with the nodes to reveal
content, diving deeper into a chosen project.
The list view mode targets the more tactical user, in which
projects are categorized chronologically, by brand, agency,
production company, location, extras and so on. And lastly, a touch
keyboard activates real time search. With each keystroke, the
galaxy of info-nodes reduces to only relevant content. The keyboard
can then be tossed aside or docked at the base of the screen for
Once a project is selected, users are just a tap away from viewing
the spot full-screen. Traditional video controls have been
replaced with an accordion track-bar that allows jumping to any
part of the video with the simple swipe of a finger.
Under the Extras section, our team developed another tool to
visually illustrate the quality and quantity of The Mill's
post-production work; namely, the Mill Lens. In these
behind-the-scenes clips, the Mill Lens can be used to reveal the
before and after footage in real time.
Come try out the Mill Touch for yourself. Contact or visit our New
York office for a hands on demo.