Not too long ago, in a galaxy not so far away, I was having pizza with a good friend (the guy who is posting this article on the internet). The conversation went something like this.
T: “So what kind of ideas do you have for the ‘Tech section?’”
Me: “Gar, gum, gla, bla, bla.”
(I was talking with pizza in my mouth.)
Me: “Well, I was thinking of doing a piece on tech in movies and how it is in real life.”
Here are a few randomly chosen items of technology seen in movies and their counterparts, if any, in real life.
1) Artificial Intelligence
In film: HAL 9000 2001: A Space Odyssey
There are few villains in flesh and bones that are more sinister than this robot in the Stanley Kubrick classic that can take over an entire space mission and commit multiple homicides on a whim. The character is terrifying, a haunting menace that imprints upon the mind long after the end credits to the already macabre film.
In real life: Apple’s Siri nearly almost as destructive when you ask her to find the nearest gas station and she texts your ex instead. Nicely done.
I have yet to see Spike Jonze’s Her but I hear it’s fantastic: definitely on the wish list.
2) Star Wars “stuff”
There’s a long list here but I’ll cut it short. Whether it’s inventing a laser beam that can be controlled enough to act as a sword without cutting your own head off (not happening), inventing space ships that defy the laws of physics on a whim (yeah right), or perhaps making a droid that can actually shut off all the power converters on the detention level without the dramatic time lapse – that stuff’s just not happening.
A wookie on the other hand? I swear I’ve seen those walking around at Wal-Mart with Jabba the Hutt’s kids.
3) Star Trek
In film: Really slow-tempo-ed sci-fi.
In real life: J. J. Abrams did it better in the reboot.
Then there’s the Holodeck.
4) A Time Machine
Whether it’s Back to the Future or the movie/book of the same name, this also defies physics, unless you take into account Einstein’s time theory, or believe the Large Hadron Collider seconds as a time machine. Then there’s always the “fly to Australia” theory and/or the “go to bed and wake up and it’s tomorrow” theory. That one works for me every once and a while.
And the Back to the Future clothing that you can defecate in and it self-cleans on the spot: I really hope they never make those.
I would never hoverboard to Wal-Mart again.
5) James Bond’s watch
The new iWatch is pretty sexy, if you enjoy writing a novel on the convenience of your wrist. Of course, there’s always Android Wear, but everyone knows Apple products are better. For everyone. No matter what your opinion is.
Still, there are few things that will charm a woman more than Sean Connery saying, “Shaken, not stirred,” with a Rolex that could literally kill somebody. It definitely makes for great cocktail party conversation.
6) Virtual Reality
Well, I know for a fact that Jelly Belly makes some pretty kick-ass “red and blue pills” (insert overly dramatic but cool Laurence Fishburne voice), but what we are really talking about is getting lots of needles stuck in your head.
Playstation 4 has recently released a “Morpheus” headset that completely removes the video game user’s perception of reality.
It comes with a severe warning to only use alone in a padded room with the door locked. Otherwise, an indefinite number of fraternity-level pranks can be easily pulled on the enthusiastic gamer. I’m sure we will begin to see some really great YouTube videos along these lines.
The Need to End This Post
“What’s my favorite fictional invention in film?” you may ask.
That’s a hard one. I don’t think they’ve even made that movie yet.
A former Internet Marketing Manager, Joe Cunningham is a screenwriter, playwright and all-around adventurer. He blogs for Kinani Blue, charms Google at Terakeet and enjoys running through the city. You can follow him on Twitter at @IndianaJoe77 or he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.