Remember when mobile phones were a futuristic, fictional idea? These days, our cellphones can do just about anything, but they're still a far cry from what visionaries dreamed they could be. From time travel to car control, some of the most amazing fictional phones pack features we can only dream of. But others are light years ahead of their time, predicting today's trends like wearable devices and phablets. Here are 10 of the most incredible fictional phones.
The term “bat phone” now refers to a private telephone line that deals specifically with urgent, high-priority calls. The saying was Inspired by the bright red phone in the Batman TV series from the 60’s that connected Commissioner Gordon to the masked superhero. The phone, which glowed when it rang, also carried a tracking device that could be used in case of emergency.
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The Ericsson concept phone in 1997's Tomorrow Never Dies allowed James Bond to remotely start his car, drive it and open a window to jump in. Other cool features of this futuristic handset include lock picking, fingerprint verification and delivering a 20,000 volt electric shock as a stun gun.
This communications device named after the inventor of the television Philo Farnsworth looks deceivingly simple, but is actually incredibly handy. The primary communications device on the Syfy TV series, the Farnsworth is a two-way audio and video phone that operates on its own secure frequency spectrum. This lets characters remain connected even in basements and in the deepest corners of the woods. It doesn’t lag, operates efficiently and can even hold conference calls. If it came with Android or iOS, the Farnsworth would be a huge seller.
“With the new eyePhone, you can watch, listen, ignore your friends, stalk your ex, download porno on a crowded bus, even check your email while getting hit by a train.” Parody aside, this precursor to Google Glass is installed right inside your eye and projects an image just in front of your face. The earpiece is installed in your ear, making this perhaps the most well-hidden communications device apart from the can-you-see-it earpiece communicators in The Avengers movie.
This American TARDIS allowed Bill and Ted to travel through time in a claustrophobic little phone booth. We wish our phones could let us go back in time and take back all the drunk texts we’ve sent.
We live in confusing times. While phones with larger screens are all the rage these days, back in the 2000’s, it used to be that tinier was better. Enter the 2001 film Zoolander, which featured a phone that was smaller than your ear, and could be answered by a sassy finger snap. Too bad the trend didn’t last very long. Earth to Matilda; this phone is so 2001.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have the Zack Morris phone. Now synonymous with monstrously large phones, the head-sized mobile device on Saved By The Bell was one of the earliest wireless phones used on TV. Along with the giant block of a phone, you can tell the show was made in 1989 from the the groovy clothes and hairstyles.
The banana-shaped Nokia 8110 that was featured in The Matrix was modified by the movie’s makers to feature a spring-loaded slider so it could open itself. Delivered by FedEx to Neo, the phone was a communicator that seemed indestructible -- it survived a fall from a skyscraper. Phones these days, or in real life, for that matter, just don’t last that long anymore.
Imagine a time before cell phones, when landlines were considered a luxury. The idea of having a phone in your shoe that would go wherever you did was novel and almost unthinkable. Better yet, Get Smart's phone was upgraded over the years to even support “shoe waiting” where main character Maxwell Smart could talk to two people at once with two shoes. Even though the technology seems primitive now, we think the Get Smart phone was way ahead of even our time, seeing how wearable tech is just starting to boom.
The inventor of the first handheld mobile phone, Dr. Martin Cooper, said that the "Star Trek: The Original Series" communicator was his inspiration for the device. The communicators had two sections, a top that flips up and a bottom. The top contained a transceiver antenna while the bottom had user controls, a speaker and a microphone. Better than today’s mobile phones, they were able to stay connected without relying on satellites to transmit signals, and could also serve as emergency beacons.
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