Sci-Fi Films That Inspired Our Favorite Gadgets

A smart guy once stated that innovations are confined to your imagination. Perhaps that is why the paintings of fiction inspire some of the most important inventions of our time. Science fiction, to be specific. Artists like to assume interesting devices that might be beyond the scope of modern technologies at their disposal. There are plenty of sci-fi books and movies with such references. Interestingly, with the era’s progress, many of these devices became a true way to the difficult work of engineers and designers. Since there are masses of examples, I will stick with the most popular ones for this piece:

Star Trek – Mobile Phones

There’s no denying that Star Trek sucks tougher than Star Wars. Apart from the reboot from J. J. Abrams, there’s rarely a Star Trek film or collection that makes you nod off. However, I have to give credit in which credit is due. Star Trek single-handedly stimulated so many gadgets that it warrants a devoted article. The most important one is your cellular cellphone. Back in the Sixties, American innovator Martin Cooper didn’t like how communication was confined by using landlines and automobile phones. He wanted telephones to be more personal. Luckily, he stumbled upon an episode of Star Trek. After seeing Captain Kirk freely using his Wi-Fi communicator tool to make calls, Marty had a clear purpose.


He led a group of engineers working for Motorola to increase the sector’s first mobile phone, DynaTAC (DYNamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage). The handset was formally revealed in 1973. However, it took nearly a decade and more than one hardware refinement before it hit the stores. DynaTAC appeared nothing like the Communicator from Star Trek. However, in 1996, Motorola finally launched StarTAC, which resembled Captain Kirk’s clamshell phone.

2001: A Space Odyssey – Tablets

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is the greatest filmmaker ever. Beyond its charming visuals and evocative history rating, this film is thought to have an awesome feel of realism in depicting future concepts. In one scene, an astronaut is shown looking at a TV program on a tablet while having a meal. Kubrick and Arthur Clarke penned the film’s script in the ’60s. It is baffling to imagine how these predicted that skinny pills could be available in 2001. Call it a twist of fate. However, Microsoft virtually unveiled its pill computer prototype in 2001. Unfortunately, these Tablet PC devices jogging complete-fledged Windows didn’t click with the clients. Finally, it turned into Apple, which controlled to popularize pills with its iPad strolling a touchscreen-friendly running system. Other manufacturers, which include Samsung, LG, and HTC, soon accompanied Apple’s lead. Apple even sued Samsung for aping its layout. Interestingly, to avoid fines in the patent infringement case, Samsung mentioned 2001: A Space Odyssey’s pill concept within the US District Court.

Johnny J. Hernandez
I write about new gadgets and technology. I love trying out new tech products. And if it's good enough, I'll review it here. I'm a techie. I've been writing since 2004. I started back in 2012.