Big Hero 6 screen shot

I was immediately taken with the movie Big Hero 6 the first time I saw it.  Actually, I was completely on board from the first teaser I saw for the film.  The movie is fun, compelling, beautiful animated, and involves Alan Tudyk. But, it took several viewings for one of the most visually striking elements of San Fransokyo to really register. I’m referring to the brightly painted, floating wind turbines that hover above the city.

It turns out that, like a lot of the technology in the film, these wind turbines are based on science fact, not fiction. These turbines, referred to as BATs for Buoyant Air Turbine, are already in small scale production.  Their use in the film is both obvious, and non-intrusive; a subtle way to start normalizing the idea of renewable energy in our modern, everyday lives.

The presence of this one dominant use of green technology also implies that there is more of the same we don’t see in this world. The evidence is in the sweeping shots of the city.  While Hiro and Baymax fly through the metropolis you can see the cities effective, and popular, public transportation (unlike in Atlanta) as well as numerous roof gardens and urban green spaces, with virtually no litter, except in alleys.  There doesn’t even seem to be any smog in San Fransokyo, just the iconic fog of San Francisco.

All in all, it seems like the beautiful, clean, green city of the future we could really use today.  And with the already existing technology of the BATs, that future may be closer than you think.