We wanted to show parts of this interface becoming disabled without turning every control grey, or hiding the controls completely. The solution was a gradient scrim that animated its opacity as the corresponding section of the interface was enabled or disabled.
In creating the UI for an app to roll the iChing, I wanted to re-create the zen-like experience of rolling an iChing hexagram, and animate smoothly from a screen that showed the hexagram to a screen that gave the meaning.
Animation can bring a UI to life, and it can help pull user's attention to changing states. In this case, the hardware the interface is representing is being unplugged. The animation of the plug position and cord sway was inspired by audio applications showing patch cords
A similar technique was used for the interface to a four port USB hub that had two main screens that shared a great deal of data. This was an interesting exercise in chaining various types of animations.