Home 49 is a connected system that provides for the daily needs of Jack and Vika. It handles everything from morning breakfast, to video storage of previous missions, to maintenance of drones, to Jack’s personal weapons. The Home acts as both a residence and a watchtower, and is built on a slim stilt that reaches from ground level to above the cloud layer. This isolates Home 49 from the ground.
Inside, the home pod is broken down into ‘functional’ spaces. These include the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, armory, and maintenance shop. It is connected to the exterior doors, windows, observation platform, landing pad, and pool.
The entire facility is a prefabricated structure (or at least a set-plan concept), and we see a nearly identical facility in Area 52. Cosmetic differences and changes to color scheme suggest a modicum of customization for each instance of the team.
The Breakfast console interface is multimodal, changing as Vika’s tasks change. Its contents are heavily mediated by Sally is an intermediary agent during most of Vika’s console tasks, though her perspective and information seems limited to that received from the drones or from Vika.
The Breakfast console seems to scale with the task, and is capable of highlighting particular subtasks in progress, while displaying a wealth of peripheral or supplemental data.
An Efficient Home
Home 49 appears to suit Jack and Vika’s needs perfectly. We never see them in need of information, or struggling to complete a task. Vika is able to quickly get to the information she is looking for, and controls always appear to be at a comfortable height.
Special mention here goes to the door control, which requires almost no effort to activate. Opening the door is a generic gesture of touching the left hand pane of glass (from the inside, not the outside). Less used controls are etched into the glass on the right.
The only thing that would make the control easier would be to make it constantly visible. The button is in a logical spot and is used every day, so there is little likelihood of the users forgetting how to open the door. Etching a control for opening the door would provide an added level of comfort and reminder for the crew.
With invisible controls, even with constant use, there is a chance of accidentally hitting the wrong button.
In this case, an automatic door like at a grocery store would be a serious security and safety concern for the TET. Making an automatic door secure would require a complete redesign of the lock controls and the procedure for entering the home.
Considering how high up the home is, accidentally opening the door when Vika is merely looking to select an option would be a dangerous issue in high winds. Thankfully, the home has extensive balconies which would mitigate an accidental door opening.
When working on the drone, Jack always appears to have the needed tools at hand and within easy reach. His Armory is always ready, and his weapons are always prepared for a mission.
The Tet’s Hidden Goals
As revealed later, this home also serves the Tet’s goals perfectly. Home 49 is a confined space that is well above a height where Vika would feel any connection to the ground (either emotionally or physically). The home is wired with several sensors and cameras to watch over the two occupants.
Everything inside is crafted to appear human. The language, interactions, and accessories all reinforce memories of life before the War. This reinforcement hides the Tet’s alien technology under a layer of familiarity, and Jack never questions that he isn’t working on Human built machines.
Everything but the door
The only interface in Home 49 that can be found lacking is the main door control. It is invisible until pressed, and only works from the inside. We see elsewhere that the Drones have built in voice recognition, and only respond to their proper maintenance crew. This system could be implemented on the door to prevent unwanted entry by other maintenance crews.
Failing that, better labels on the control when the door is inactive would provide better touch targets and easier use after a long day fixing Drones.
Otherwise, we see that the home serves Jack and Vika’s (and the Tet’s) needs well. Though, if the Tet really wanted to keep the team inside, it would have a way to remotely lock the doors. Considering how bad a fire hazard locked doors would be, I’m glad that the Tet overlooked that small feature.
- Don’t prevent evacuations in the event of an emergency
- Give your users a way to be alone when they want
- Every-day tasks should be easiest and most seamless