Apr 6th 2018

Hollywood tech: Futuristic gadgets making movies memorable

Hollywood sign

I love a bit of futuristic tech in a film, from the hoverboard in Back to the Future to the lightsabres in Star Wars; it’s the iconic gadgets that make these movies so memorable. As a specialist technology PR agency – and a rather cultured bunch – I tested the Babel office’s knowledge of gadgetry in cinema and asked them to pick their favourites.

PASIV – Inception

Consultant Ed’s opted for this dream-sharing machine, otherwise known as the Portable Automated Somnacin IntraVenous Device (PASIV). Using fictional compound Somnacin, PASIV allows users to consciously experience an individual’s dream world, uninhibited by natural laws. In the film, characters can defy gravity, alter physics and essentially design fit-for-purpose environments and scenarios. It’s a fascinating concept. Unfortunately, in real life I find people talking about their dreams far less fascinating, so I’m not sure I share Ed’s enthusiasm.

Body suit – Iron Man

There’s a good reason the eccentric billionaire playboy Tony Stark chose to don this armoured cocoon (and why Consultant Declan chose it as his favourite piece of on-screen tech). The suit is heavily armoured, yet still lightweight enough to fly at high speed and comes with an array of powerful weapons. Favourite features include the repulsor beams which can be fired from the palms of the wearer’s hands. Perhaps a step too far for Declan though, who “probably wouldn’t take on major criminals/aliens/Gods: I’d just use it to fly around and skip traffic…”

Swaine Adeney Brigg Chestnut umbrella – Kingsman films

Sophie, Campaign Manager, has chosen a gadget that’s a modern style classic. Carried by Colin Firth himself in Kingsman, not only is this British-crafted umbrella super-handy in rainy London, but it’s also a bullet-proof shield with a pistol in the handle (should you get into a tricky situation). In one scene, Colin employs the umbrella’s hook to lob a beer glass at thugs, which is how I like to imagine Sophie would use it.

Laser knife – Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Head honcho of Babel’s Cardiff office, Campaign Manager, and all-round culinary wunderkind, Ben Cole, has unsurprisingly gone for a kitchen gadget. This nifty number toasts bread and cuts it – AT THE SAME TIME!! Not only would this save any wheat-based-breakfast eater time in the morning, it’s also the type of gadget that as a child I thought, (and hoped) that l’d be using by 2018.

Remote controlled BMW – Tomorrow Never Dies

Campaign Manager Jen has opted for what is arguably one of the worst Bond cars, featured in arguably one of the worst Bond films. Trading the iconic Aston Martin for a BMW is borderline sacrilege. In saying that, the car does facilitate yet another life-saving escape, with 007 using his Ericsson mobile phone to remotely-control the bullet-dodging vehicle whilst lying on the backseat.

Cher’s high-tech closet – Clueless

Consultant Pippa has chosen this tech-powered closet, which allows Cher to browse through all clothes and put outfits together on her computer, and for the selected items to be retrieved and rotated from her wardrobe. You can arguably do something similar today, on a smartphone, in higher quality. But Cher’s chunky mid-90s desktop, its clunky low-res graphics, and that yellow chequered suit it recommends, elevates this piece of tech to the level of vintage haute-couture.

Spinner – Blade Runner

I loved every piece of futuristic tech on show in both the original and the remake of Blade Runner. However, my favourite has to be the rough-and-ready Peugeot which Ryan Gosling gets the chance to get behind the wheel of in the recent film update. It flies, it has a high-powered computer, and it perfectly suits the desolate dystopian aesthetic of the film.

Do you agree with the team’s choices, or are there some even better, more futuristic, or weird and wonderful pieces of technology you’ve seen on screen? Join in the conversation and Tweet us @BabelPR.