Innovation must begin with imagination – an idea.
Some of the most imaginative people in the world cannot bring their ideas into reality, but once they have depicted them in a book or a movie, the idea can enter the mind of an engineer or a scientist and potentially become a reality.
For example, engineers have been fascinated with the idea of creating a hoverboard, as depicted in the Back to the Future films, and recently created a miniature version on a BBC television program.
It clearly won’t be long till kids will be riding on regular sized ones. Below we have gathered together a list of examples of the many times movies have predicted the future.
The Cable Guy – 1996
In this disturbing comedy, where the hilarious Jim Carrey plays a creepy cable guy, his character predicts Internet TV and online gaming. He declares that he believes all Americans will one day have a computer, phone and cable TV in one device, and that one day it will be possible to play a computer game with a friend in Vietnam.
Metropolis – 1927
In this early science fiction film an insane scientist creates an android doppelganger of one of the female characters. Modern technology today has come along enough that robots that appear human like have already been tested in hospitals for their therapeutic value, which means that in the years to come they will only become more complex and realistic, and likely walk among us undetected.
Forbidden Planet – 1956
This film staring Leslie Nielsen predicted the use of mobile phones. This was long before Star Trek began to utilize their imagined versions of this technology, that we consider to be just run of the mill nowadays.
Woman in the Moon – 1929
While movies and books had imagined space travel and trips to the moon, this film was the first to predict with any sort of accuracy what the technology utilized in getting to the moon would actually entail. While it was off base in some things, even assuming a lunar atmosphere, it still depicted a multistage rocket launch, which is used today.
2001: A Space Odyssey – 1968
Not only did this Stanley Kubrick film depict the tablet computer with stunning accuracy, it also predicted a pretty accurate time frame for when they would appear. It would only be 9 years after the year this film was set in that Apple would debut it’s first iPad.
This film also predicted the concept that would later become Siri, in the “character” Hal. Also predicted space tourism and the International Space Station.
Minority Report – 2002
This film starring Tom Cruise predicted facial recognition technology, that was eventually rolled out by the FBI in 2014. It also predicted that there would one day be algorithms to create personalized targeted advertising on the internet.
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock – 1984
Star Trek has been responsible for imagining countless future technologies. But this film specifically predicted the flip phone design that later became popular. Earlier Star Trek films also depicted smartwatches, and in a Star Trek film from 1979 there was a depiction of what would later become a Bluetooth headset.
Total Recall – 1990
This film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger predicted driverless cars, which are now being rolled out for use by Google. You can even now catch a ride in a driverless Uber in the US.
WarGames – 1983
Long before the internet became an inherent part of our daily lives – and also before the threat of having your computer hacked became a reality. This movie was the first to predict the concept of cyber warfare, and characters portraying hackers.
Short Circuit – 1986
While we haven’t had any robots become self-aware yet – that we know of – this movie did predict the use of military robots. Militaries around the world currently use unmanned robots for attack and reconnaissance purposes – including the use of flying robots.
Back to the Future II – 1989
There are a lot of things from this film depicted in an imagined 2015 that we all hoped we would see as a reality in the real 2015. And while we haven’t yet got the hoverboard (though a miniature ‘version’ has been invented recently by Lexus), Nike did eventually create self-lacing shoes. And we also now have face-to-face communication technology and flat-screen televisions.