When compared with the disbelief-suspension of the world of cinema, real life can seem pretty mundane and boring. This is why we get excited and marvel at the whizzy, high-tech gadgets and tools that we see in our favourite movies. However, many of the gadgets and future-tech we see in older movies are becoming a reality and in this list, we are going to run down five of the most awesome futuristic gadgets from movies that became reality.
HAL 9000 – 2001: A Space Odyssey
Although there are no semi-sentient robotic AI’s going rogue and killing off a bunch of astronauts in the real world, there is an undeniable similarity with software such as Siri and Alexa (marketed by Apple and Amazon respectively) which features a human-like interface in which you can give verbal instructions and ask questions. This, if you also take into consideration the big developments in the world of artificial intelligence, is frightening and we should be afraid, very afraid. Hal 9000 is the creepy AI that creates chaos aboard the ship in 2001: A Space Odyssey. At least Siri doesn’t tell us that it can’t let us do things… yet.
Face Recognition Scanners – Minority Report
At the unveiling of Apple’s new iPhone X in September, they unveiled a new feature which had some people recognising scary resemblances to the Tom Cruise film ‘Minority Report’. The new feature will allow users to unlock their phone with just their face – a feature which has been tested with other phones before but has never really become the mainstream. In Minority Report, users’ faces are scanned and they are given personal advertising depending on the person. Unlocking phones seems to be just the start for the possibilities of facial recognition as Minority Report and other dystopian films are rapidly becoming more reality than fiction.
Computer-Assisted Eyewear/Headwear – Robocop
Robocop (the original) is a kick-ass movie about a super-cool and nearly-fatally wounded cop who takes up the role as a half-man, half-robot policeman in near-apocalyptic Detroit. Part of Robocop’s signature look is his headgear, which features a visor designed to feed information to him. Does this sound similar? Because it should. It bares a striking resemblance to the wearable ‘Google Glass’ eyewear released by Google back in 2013. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, Google Glass flopped completely and it is unlikely that we will be seeing robotic, visor-wearing policeman anytime soon, despite the fact the technology exists.
Driverless Cars – Total Recall
The original Total Recall features a scene in which Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character takes a ride in a driverless car – complete with creepy-looking robot driver. The technology behind driverless cars is rapidly developing and within a few years it is expected that quite a few of these high-tech vehicles will be roaming the roads. However, they will not feature creepy android drivers and is arguably a brilliant invention, helping to keep roads safer and make life easier.
Video Calling – 2001: A Space Odyssey / Back to the Future: Part II
Finally, video calling features in both 2001: A Space Odyssey and Back to the Future: Part II, amongst a number of other utopian/dystopian films. Although videotelephony had been a much discussed subject since the late 1870s, it took over a century before the concept was phased out for the general public. Both films predicted the rise of video calling and conferencing, with Back to the Future predicting that one day we will be able to see friends, family and colleagues, all from the comfort of our own home.
Honourable Mention – Hoverboards – Back to the Future: Part II
Hoverboards really are the ‘one that got away’. Companies have been working hard to develop a real life hoverboard, yet even with various attempts, they are very far away from the required technology needed to make the concept a reality. This is one for the far future yet I’m sure that once they are released, my grandchildren, or great-great grandchildren, will have infinite amounts of fun with them.
Katie Porter is an aspiring writer, movie lover, and part of the team at Seatup. In her free time, she enjoys exploring her home state Colorado and plays in women’s amateur rugby league.