There’s little more exciting than seeing futuristic interactive technology in TV and film – except of course seeing the film prop become a reality.
Any tech company will tell you how inspiring gadgets in TV shows or films can be, whether it’s the DeLorean from Back to the Future or the iconic lightsabers from Star Wars.
With this in mind, we’ve made a list of our top five moments when interactive technology has taken centre stage on the big or small screen – whether they inspire us or show us how far we’ve come already.
USS Enterprise’s touchscreen console – Star Trek
Star Trek is famous for predicting future gadgets such as flip phones, tablet computers and video conferencing. However, the glue that holds them all together is the USS Enterprise’s console.
Any 70s kid will remember the colourful command deck covered with futuristic touchscreen computers used to control the iconic spacecraft, Captain Picard at the helm.
This console is possibly the best example of interactive technology in TV and film becoming a daily reality.
We now use touchscreens on a daily basis, such as kiosks in shops or airports, interactive digital adverts and, of course, our phones. You can almost hear ‘make it so!’ booming around you as you tap around trying to buy a train ticket…
Digital adverts – Blade Runner
This cult classic will always have a place in the hearts of technophiles everywhere, thanks to its impeccable depiction of a gadget-driven Japanese/American world.
One of the film’s most famous shots shows the dystopian cityscape of L.A. in the year 2019 dominated by a Coca-Cola digital advert on the side of a skyscraper.
With iconic images such as London’s Trafalgar Square and New York’s Times Square, digital advertising has become an integral part of today’s world.
And we’re progressing even quicker than Blade Runner’s depiction, with some digital advertisements now having an interactive shopping option.
Voting kiosk – The Simpsons
The Simpsons’ creators have never shied away from offering up social commentary, and their depiction of everyday family life is a great way to track the popularity of new gadgets.
In a 2012 episode, Homer uses a touchscreen kiosk to vote in the U.S. elections.
Homer is shown a candidate’s tax return after voting for him, and is then sucked into the machine before he can go to the press.
The use of a kiosk and interactive technology in TV and film is one to embrace as it signals a shift to a more electronic future.
It also poses some ideas for the future of interactive technology in a political context, whether that means electronic voting that can be counted quicker, or interactive campaign posters.
GERTY – Moon
Award winning 2009 film Moon follows Sam Bell completing a solitary three years on the moon with only GERTY, a robot, for company.
GERTY’s easy-to-use voice recognition software and simple screen showing a range of emoticon faces suggest the idea of a more personal Siri.
Moon also predicts people’s growing dependence on technology as a catch-all assistant – a device that can do everything for you, rather than just one task like sending texts or playing music.
It uses human decision rather than chess-like robotic rationalisation, and shows multiple features in one device. GERTY makes the future of interactive technologies physical on the big screen.
Biometric security – James Bond
James Bond is arguably the most famous film franchise when it comes to fantastic gadgets.
Fingerprint identification and facial recognition are commonplace in Bond-world security. Take Bond’s fake fingerprint in Diamonds Are Forever or the ‘Indentigraph’ in For Your Eyes Only.
As James Bond modernises from the 1960s through to the present day, the franchise has both helped inspire biometric security and predict its place in future society.
Biometric technology is becoming more commonplace in the modern world – for example, fingerprint recognition on iPhones or our own biometric kiosks that can identify their users.
Interactive technology in TV and Film: a summary
The future of interactive technology is as exciting as it is fantastic.
Film and TV never fails to inspire and create goals for us technology companies to work towards.
With the world already surrounded by Star Trek-like gadgets in our pockets and Blade Runner-like digital adverts on our high streets, it’s easy to imagine our digital future.