These Billion-Dollar Tech Ideas Were Actually Inspired by Famous Movies

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It is undeniable that the constant technological innovation has altered the trajectory of history by transforming our everyday lives fully with stuffs like mobile phones, electric scooters, and drones. Nowadays, it is so tough to imagine a future without these instruments, but the fact is in decades past we existed without them. Curiously, a few accidental sci-fi movies have predicted accurately to be some of the most futuristic devices which are available today. Find out which technological innovations come from Hollywood movies for billions of dollars.

Airport Body Scanners – Airplane II, 1982

No one might have expected that an American parody film sequel would ultimately anticipate one of the most important technological advances currently as deceitful as Airplane II might have been for some audiences. In a certain scene in the 1982 film, passengers who are about to ride on a lunar shuttle must step through a body scanner which was at the time totally impractical. Who knows that body scanners would be the standard at airports by 2009 and would finally hit a tech industry valuation of 328,2 million dollars?

Digital Billboards – Blade Runner, 1982

Another film published in 1982 predicted a technological breakthrough that would start more than 20 years later and ultimately become a major part of the advertising industry: interactive panels. Although Blade Runner was released in 1982, the film was made in 2019, and in some respects, it was ahead of time. One was the notion of a modern billboard, which was totally unachievable back in the 1980s. Today, automated billboards with a tech worth of $ 31.71 billion can be seen in every big city in the world.

Earbuds – Fahrenheit 451, 1966

The development of earphones was tremendous and the main element started as voluminous. Back in 1966 the movie Fahrenheit 451, which was far from becoming a fact, presented the idea of earbuds as the most horrendous, yet highly useful element. Although earbuds have improved in productivity in the last few decades, Apple introduced the now popular EarPods in 2016, which is on the road to hit a $15.8 billion market size by 2025.

Video Calling – A Space Odyssey, 1968

More than ever before, video conferences have been an integral aspect of how we interact with and work with our families and friends. However, while video calls are now almost as frequent as normal calls, they were not possible back in the 1960s. While the idea of video calling was still developed during the decade, during the 1968 A Space Odyssey, the importance of video calls was emphasized many times. The technology was launched the same year.

3D Printing – Weird Science, 1983

Nobody could predict 3D printing the way it is now decades ago, and that a movie surprisingly anticipated the technology in its storyline. While it’s not necessarily the same kind of 3D printing we have now, the concept certainly was there. Two guys managed to “print” a woman in Weird Science in the 1983 movie on the pictures and details they feed into a computer. 3D printing today is worth $35.6 billion.

Military Drones – The Terminator, 1984

There is a lot about the movie The Terminator that is also very prophetic because the film is so firmly pulled away from reality. But there was one thing the film finally forecast for the future, something that today’s innovation industry is worth nearly $26.8 billion: armed drones. Although drones existed for many decades, the use of commercial and militarized drones became part of daily life only in the early 2000s.

Smart Homes – Demon Seed, 1977

In 1977 Demon Seed gave us an insight into the idea of clever home, and how the technological revolution in our homes could totally transform our way of life. Strange enough, smart homes were unveiled to the market at the end of the 1990s and began to manufacture devices that were essential for a relaxed and simple existence. Today, smart home systems have a $23 billion tech market cap.

From Blockbusters to Billion-Dollar Tech Ideas: How Movies Inspired Tech Success

It may come as a surprise, but some of the world’s most successful tech ideas were inspired by movies. Whether it’s robotics, automation, alternative energy or artificial intelligence, many of the world’s most innovative products owe their success to Hollywood.

Look no further than Microsoft’s motions sensing Xbox Kinect, which was inspired by the 2002 Steven Spielberg film Minority Report. The film featured characters interacting with a computer by using hand gestures and other body movements. Microsoft saw the potential in the idea and developed Kinect, which was launched in 2010 and surged to over 8 million units in the first two months.

Google’s famous driverless car, Waymo, was inspired by Knight Rider, the legendary 80s TV show about talking and self-driving cars. The engineers who developed Waymo said they wanted the car to have the same level of intelligence and knowledge as KITT, the show’s self-driving car.

Robotic surgeries have advanced since the release of RoboCop. In the 1987 movie, cyborg officer RoboCop was outfitted with a robotic hand that had superhuman strengths that surpassed human surgeons. This inspired researchers and engineers to develop surgical robots that could support doctors in complex medical procedures.

Frequently Asked Questions About Movies Inspiring Tech Ideas

  • What movies have been credited with inspiring tech ideas?
    Many popular movies have been credited with inspiring tech ideas like Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect, Google’s Waymo, and robotic surgeries.
  • How did these movies inspire tech ideas?
    The movies provided a vision and an idea for engineers and researchers to build upon. For example, the 2002 Steven Spielberg film Minority Report inspired Microsoft to create Xbox Kinect.
  • What have been the results of tech inspired by movies?
    Tech ideas inspired by movies have often been incredibly successful. Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect sales surged to over 8 million units in the first two months, and Google’s driverless car Waymo has become a leader in the industry.


The movies have provided more than just entertainment; they have also provided inspiration for some of today’s most innovative and successful tech ideas. Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect was inspired by Minority Report, Google’s Waymo was inspired by Knight Rider, and robotic surgeries were inspired by RoboCop. The success of these tech ideas proves that inspiration, no matter where it comes from, can create major success and transforming trends.