The City of Tomorrow (according to Microsoft)

Microsoft has a thing for producing videos showing their vision of the future is, and their latest effort is no different. Titled “Productivity Future Vision” and made by the Microsoft Office team, the video shows people around the world collaborating on projects with their smartphones, tablet computers, and desktop PCs.

For a railfan interested in Hong Kong, the scene from 1:20 onwards is of interest. Set in an underground railway station, the name “Sai Ying Pun” and Chinese text on the curved tunnel wall simply screams “MTR Island Line“.

Microsoft: Productivity Future Vision, scene at Sai Ying Pun

It turns out that the producers of the video captured the “City of Tomorrow” flavour perfectly, as Sai Ying Pun is a future railway station on the MTR West Island Line, an extension of the existing MTR Island Line towards Kennedy Town.

For comparison, this is Sheung Wan, an actual station on the same line. Can you spot the difference?

A mix of mosaic tiles and fibreglass panels at Sheung Wan MTR station

As we continue watching, we see a bit more of the station, and some advertising billboards.

Microsoft: Productivity Future Vision, scene at Sai Ying Pun

The featured character then pulls out his smartphone, to make a donation to the charity advertised. Again, the video captured the location perfectly with the “HK” prefix on the $ sign.

Microsoft: Productivity Future Vision, scene at Sai Ying Pun

Once his payment goes through, his smartphone then presents him with a tally of pledges by station. My first nitpick here is the ordering of the stations: while all of the names displayed are real, the actual sequence is Sai Ying Pun, Sheung Wan, Central, Admiralty, Wan Chai (not featured) and finally Causeway Bay.

Microsoft: Productivity Future Vision, scene at Sai Ying Pun

Cutting away from the phone screen, we see a bit more of the station: and some more things to nitpick. First of is the lack of platform screen doors.

Microsoft: Productivity Future Vision, scene at Sai Ying Pun

The second is the type of train – I have no idea what it is, but it looks like nothing that runs around in Hong Kong. The way they show it in the background, it just be some CGI magic?

Microsoft: Productivity Future Vision, scene at Sai Ying Pun

Now I’m left asking the question: where did Microsoft actually film this scene?

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5 Responses to The City of Tomorrow (according to Microsoft)

  1. xahldera says:

    The train looks a bit like some High Speed Intercity unit of some sort. Maybe German ICE?

  2. John says:

    That station I believe is on the Seattle Link Light Rail…I knew I recognized some of the signage.

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