It’s undeniable that continuous advancements in technology have changed the course of history, with items such as smartphones, electric scooters, and drones completely altering our day-to-day lives. Today, it’s almost impossible to imagine a world without these tools, but the truth is that we lived decades without any of them. Curiously, some of the most futuristic gadgets available today were actually predicted by random sci-fi movies way before they existed. Find out which billion-dollar tech ideas came from Hollywood movies.
1. Airport Body Scanners - Airplane II, 1982
As disappointing as Airplane II may have been for some viewers, no one could have predicted that the American parody film’s sequel would eventually foresee one of the most essential tech advancements today. In one specific scene of the 1982 movie, passengers who are about to fly on a lunar shuttle are required to walk through a body scanner that looked completely unrealistic at the time. Who would know that by 2009, body scanners would be the norm at airports and would eventually reach a tech market value of $328.2 million?
2. Digital Billboards - Blade Runner, 1982
Another movie released in 1982 managed to predict a tech advancement that would debut over 20 years later, and would eventually become an essential part of the advertisement industry: digital billboards. Although Blade Runner was released in 1982, the movie was set in 2019 and was way ahead of its time in several ways. One of them was the idea of a digital billboard, which was something completely unattainable back in the 1980s. Today, digital billboards can be seen in every major city in the world, with a $31.71 billion tech market value.
3. Earbuds - Fahrenheit 451, 1966
The evolution of earphones has been enormous, with the essential item starting off as really bulky. Back in 1966, the movie Fahrenheit 451 introduced the concept of earbuds as the most horrendous but extremely useful item, something that was way far away from being a reality. While earbuds have become more effective in the past couple of decades, it wasn’t until 2016 that Apple released the now-famous EarPods, that are on their way to reach a market value of $15.8 billion by 2025.
4. Video Calling - A Space Odyssey, 1968
These days more than ever, video calls have become an essential part of the way we communicate with our families and friends, and at work. But while video calls are almost as common as regular calls nowadays, back in the 1960s this was not yet a possibility. Although the concept of video calls was still under development throughout that decade, the importance of video calls was highlighted several times during the 1968 movie A Space Odyssey. The tech was released that same year.
5. 3D Printing - Weird Science, 1983
Decades ago, no one could have predicted that 3D printing would be a possibility the way it is today, except for one movie did surprisingly predict the tech concept in its plot. While it is not exactly the same type of 3D printing we use today, the idea was definitely there. In the 1983 film Weird Science, two guys managed to “print” a woman based on the images and information they had fed into a computer. Today, 3D printing is valued at $35.6 billion.
6. Military Drones - The Terminator, 1984
There are many things about the movie The Terminator that are still quite prophetic since the movie moved away from reality quite strongly. Yet, there was one thing that the movie ended up predicting for the future, something that is worth almost $26.8 billion in the tech market today: weaponized drones. And while drones have existed for a number of decades, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that the use of commercial and militarized drones became a part of everyday life.
7. Smart Homes - Demon Seed, 1977
In 1977, the film Demon Seed gave us a glimpse into the concept of a smart home, and how the tech revolution within our homes could completely change the way we live our lives. Curiously enough, smart homes were introduced to the public towards the end of the 1990s, and have continued to produce gadgets that have become indispensable for an easy and comfortable life. Today, smart home devices have a tech market value of $23 billion.
8. Hoverboards - Back to the Future II, 1985
Back to the Future II was way ahead of its time, predicting more than one tech gadget that would eventually be worth billions. Amongst other futuristic tech devices, the 1985 film introduced the concept of hoverboards which ended up hitting the market a decade after the movie was released. Although Segways and hoverboards don’t actually hover off the ground the same way Marty’s did in the movie, the self-balancing devices are pretty close to the movie’s tech prediction, which is worth $3.34 billion these days.