7 gadgets from movies that are a lot closer to reality than you think

By Joe Fortunato

Movies were once a wonder as audiences looked up at the screen imagining if the scenes they were watching would ever come to fruition. Well, as technology would have it, many of the devices used in movies like Total Recall and James Bond are now becoming a part of everyday life. And you can expect the near future to evolve even more.

With that said, here are seven gadgets from movies that are a lot closer to reality than you think.

Back to the Future: Power Laces Nikes


Marty Mcfly was a bit underdressed when he arrived in Hill Valley in 2015, so Doc hooked him up with an “up-to-date” wardrobe. Clothes that automatically fit to your arms and legs, a hat that changes colors depending on your mood, and, the most memorable of all, a pair of Nike sneakers that automatically laced up when you put your foot in them. Nike fans around the globe have dreamt of getting their hands on a pair of their own, and now that dream is becoming a reality. Tinker Hatfield, a Nike shoe designer, recently spoke at Jordan Brand’s Flight Lab in New Orleans at an event held surround the NBA All-Star game. When asked by a member of the press about the possibility of the shoes, he responded “Are we gonna see power laces in 2015? To that, I say YES!”

Total Recall: Robo Taxi

1990-total-recall_2065421iTristar Pictures

In Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger promised that he would be back. In Total Recall, though, he climbed into a robot taxi and let the automated driver take him to his next destination on Mars. If you happen to visit Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates, you can take a ride in a robo taxi just like the former governor of California did in one of his blockbuster hits. A European company, 2GetThere, operates the fleet of 10 autonomous taxis that transport about 25,000 people each month. Self-driving cars, robo taxis — they’re coming sooner than you think.

Red Planet: Flexible Displays

LG Electronics

This 2000 B-level sci-fi action movie introduced flexible displays as some far-fetched concept, but tech companies have really worked hard to make this a reality. Today, LG’s flexible OLED TV is probably the most amazing device on the market that features the technology. It was first introduced at CES 2014, and it’s amazed people since.

The Avengers: Holographic Displays

avengers iron manMarvel

In The Avengers, Iron Man swipes through screens, taps on videos, and adjusts sliders on his holographic displays. While the first implementation of this technology on a large scale took place in the 2012 BMW 3-Series, it hasn’t picked up steam until now. Pioneer Corp. is at the forefront of developing the holographic display technology, using it to transform car windshields and rear view mirrors to display devices. The company aims to have this technology commonplace the cars it has a hand in manufacturing by 2018.

The Dark Knight Rises: Aircraft

dark-knight-rises-batplaneWarner Bros.

People loved the quadcopter-like flying vehicle that the superhero Batman used in this movie. Although there isn’t anything like it in real life for humans yet, the technology has already made a splash in the personal piloting industry. The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is a 22-inch 4.6-pound aircraft that can record 720p video and snap pictures, all while flying around your neighborhood.

Minority Report: Face Scanner


When the Minority Report came out in theaters in 2002, there wasn’t a consumer version of a biometric face scanner — you know, the kind that knows who you are and can ask you personal questions. It’s a bit of a scary concept when thinking about how it’s used in the movie, but today it’s used for security purposes like when you’re signing in to your Dell Ultrabook or T-Mobile cell phone. Although the technology isn’t perfected yet, it’ll definitely be safeguarding your belongings with strict authority in the near future.

Prometheus: Real-Time Mapping Orb

3d mapping prometheus

In the movie, the crew throws floating orbs that fly through hallways and rooms, recording everything they see onto a holographic map. Sounds cool, right? Well, Google Street View is essentially using the same sort of technology as an army of cars drive around and snap panoramic images to provide you with a view of every house, street, and block in the world.

There’s no telling what other movie technology we’ll be seeing in the palms of our hands in the near future. What movie tech have you seen that seems outlandish but you’d like to see in reality?

Author Bio: Joe Fortunato is a professional writer based out of Tampa, FL. As an avid tech fanatic, Joe is constantly on the lookout for new things that will help him enjoy his hobbies: playing golf, brass instruments, cooking ethnic foods, and bass fishing. To find more of Joe’s published work, check out his Twitter profile, @joey_fort.

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