- Author Ced Yuen
- Published July 11, 2014
Cool movie tech that should never exist
Loads of tech in the movies has come true – and we’re thankful for it. But, as WhatHiFi.com’s Ced Yuen explains, there are some movie inventions that are best left in the ‘fi’ part of ‘sci-fi’…
Technology is great. These days the phones in our pockets are more powerful computers than the ones that took up a whole desk just years ago. We can do things now that seemed like the stuff of science fiction only a few years ago.
Take lasers. What sci-fi tale is complete without at least one laser? Now you can take one wherever you go, because the LG G3 smartphone uses a laser to focus its photos.
Then there’s motion control – using gestures to control a screen. Minority Report, then. Or just LG’s 2014 smart TVs. What about wrist computers you can talk into? (“KITT? I need ya, pal…”) That’s happening right now with smart watches, like the LG G Watch.
But there are still some sci-fi gizmos yet to be realised – and that might be a good thing where mankind’s safety is concerned. Some things should never get into the hands of the public. Like…
The Jedi’s blade. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon for a more civilised age. Except that in every Star Wars outing, somebody gets their bits chopped off. It’s usually a hand, but at one point Christopher Lee loses both hands. (And his head.)
Imagine the carnage if you could get these down at your local B&Q. A man catches one on his watch and takes his wrist off. Then there’s the inevitable YouTube video gone wrong, because of course people want a badass duel. Then policemen would start carrying them. Well, not in the UK, although they might get tasers some day.
The ultimate accessory for quick getaways, favoured by the likes of Boba Fett and 007. Usually it’s a fancy backpack with jets firing out of the bottom. It gets you from A to B quicker and cooler than any other form of personal transport.
Who wouldn’t want one? Well, maybe those with acrophobia. And people with roofs because they’re going to get smashed. Jetpackers will fall from the sky as they run out of fuel. Or as they drink and fly. Or as they text and fly.
And then, when they become popular, the skies will get crowded. It will be a vertical rush hour, complete with all the lycra lot. Only now they’re flying past those traffic lights.
Also, what happens to your calves when you place them right under a rocket?
Skateboards minus the wheels! It looked fantastic in the Back to the Future Part II, where Marty McFly hovered through his adventure. It will be much the same thing as jetpacks, except the carnage will probably be horizontal.
Without any degree of traction, you might just fling yourself into a wall. Ever tried standing on a kickboard on water? You can’t not fall over. Now imagine that at the South Bank skatepark.
Who wouldn’t like the ability to go back in time and change something? I’ll just do something little, you say, like buying the right lottery ticket. Only everybody else has the same idea and everybody gets pennies. Or everybody gets super rich and money is devalued: hello, new recession!
That’s assuming people do something harmless, which isn’t going to happen. People will end up talking to themselves in the past or future, and maybe end up killing their ancestors. Which means they’ll cease to exist. Or, at the very least, they’ll have to rip through a guitar solo after their hand nearly disappears. At best, history lessons will be made redundant; at worst, the universe will implode. Or something.
This is the big one: to dematerialise in one place and reintegrate in another, atom by atom. It would have to happen rather quickly for you not to die. What of your thoughts and memories? That’s technically replicable, seeing as they are physical connections in your brain.
The complications are limitless. As seen in The Fly (1986), the slightest miscalculation might reintegrate you inside out. Or severely mess with your DNA.
But let’s assume for now that all of that is taken care of, and you can teleport safely. It would still raise all manner of existential issues. Molecular disintegration and reintegration means you destroy one version of your self and have another built at the other end. The you that enters the machine gets vaporised; a copy comes out. Are you still you, or are you an imposter? Could you deal with not living in your original body? Could you deal with what is technically murder and suicide at once?
Well, either that, or somebody will just reintegrate into a brick wall. Yay, science!
Ced Yuen is a staff writer on Whathifi.com
The future isn’t all bad. In fact, if you want to enjoy science fiction on the best screens available, take a look at LG’s OLED and ULTRA HD 4K range. They are mind-expanding future tech in themselves – with no nasty side effects…