Films that predicted the future of technology

Time and time again, movies have correctly anticipated future gadgets. Here the O2 Gurus look back at some of the best predictions and ask what might be next.

In 2002, Minority Report predicted the Kinect

The hands-free computer interface in Minority Report blew our minds back in ’02 – we didn’t think we’d see anything like it in our lifetimes. But just shy of eight years later, Microsoft’s motion-sensing Kinect for Xbox 360 (below) meant similar technology was suddenly sitting in our living rooms. Director Steven Spielberg worked with a number of tech experts on the film, which explains why it got so many things right: personalised advertising, insect robots, retina scanners and microchip identification have all gone from science fiction to science fact.


In 1968, 2001: A Space Odyssey predicted the iPad

One of the first tablets, the NewsPAD, was inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 masterpiece, in which a number of astronauts can be seen using portable computers aboard the spaceship Discovery (main image). Bizarrely, the film was even referenced in a legal row between Sony and Apple in August 2011 when Sony argued that Kubrick was the original brain behind the tablet, thus making Apple’s iPad 2 patent void.

In 1989, Batman predicted the driverless car

Many films have depicted self-driving cars, including I, Robot, Total Recall, and – yes – Minority Report. By far the coolest, though, is the self-driving Batmobile in Tim Burton’s Batman, during which the car drives itself to Batman’s rescue. Self-driving cars look set to become a reality sooner rather than later. Google, for example, has been working on autonomous cars for some years now. But will they look as good as the Batmobile? It seems unlikely…  

In 1989, Back To The Future II predicted Google Glass


You think wearable tech is a new thing? Think again! From James Bond’s gadgets to Tony Stark’s super suit in Ironman, Hollywood has long been fascinated by the concept. The Back To The Future series was particularly bang on, though. As well as anticipating the invention of video conferencing, hoverboards (we’re still hopeful) and fingerprint security, Back To The Future II also featured glasses capable of receiving phone calls – an idea that today has become a reality in the form of Google Glass. Does this mean time travel could also one day become a possibility? We like to think so.

In 2001, A.I. Artificial Intelligence predicted ‘teen-bots’

Another Spielberg classic, A.I. Artificial Intelligence was about the birth of a robot child with emotions and feelings. Developers have long been attempting to create the first technology capable of passing the Turing test, which determines the ability of a machine to think for itself. Just this year, 13 years after A.I., the first ‘teen-bot’ managed to convince a third of test judges that it was a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy.

What tech from today’s blockbusters would you love to see become a reality in the future? Let us know in the comments below or by replying to us on Twitter @O2 with #o2guru.

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2001 image source
BTTF image source