5 Tech predictions movies got right

BY Ian Crosby

7th Dec 2022 Technology

5 Tech predictions movies got right

Some of the best science fiction films have made technology predictions that have seemingly come true. Ian Crosby explores five things movies got right

The world of sci-fi cinema has captured the imagination of audiences the world over for decades. Captivating audiences with projections of the future, science fiction offers an escape from everyday life and a suggestion of what the future might look like—however utopian or dystopian that may be.

"The imaginations of science fiction writers and directors are increasingly becoming reality"

With technological advancement progressing faster than ever, the imaginations of science fiction writers and directors are increasingly becoming reality. Concepts once deemed outlandish or even implausible have become real. With that in mind, technology and touchscreen innovators Zytronic take a look at five technology predictions the movies got right. From Back to the Future to Terminator, here’s some of the most eerily-accurate technological predictions from the movies of the past. 

Back to the Future 

Any list of movies predicting the future would be incomplete without the Back to the Future trilogy. The iconic movie showed off plenty of technology expected to debut in the future. While some of the predictions of writer-director Robert Zemeckis fell flat, the trilogy has predicted an almost scary number of technologies that are part of our everyday life almost four decades after the release of the first film. 

Zemeckis’ suggestion that we’d have hoverboards by 2015 might not have come true, but the films predicted plenty of other new technologies that came true. Self-lacing shoes—now commonly used by people with disabilities—are just one of his correct predictions. Video calling and 3D movies also feature. 

"Back to the Future showed off plenty of technology expected to debut in the future"

There was even virtual reality, voice assistants and fingerprint scanners…are we sure the DeLorean wasn’t real?

Star Trek

Star Trek is a little more “out there” than Back to the Future at first glance, but you’d be surprised to see how much of today’s technology was predicted in the show’s early days. Having premiered in 1966, Star Trek’s vision of the future is perhaps more impressive than some of the other films on this list—and their number of correct predictions continue to grow! 

Having predicted everything from tablet computers to medical scanners and wearable communication devices, we can’t help but think that Gene Roddenberry, creator of the series, would be impressed. Recent product launches have seen invisible power delivery, augmented reality and transparent, hologram-like screens like those on the Enterprise come to life. 

Star Wars

Considering Star Wars’ pop culture ubiquity, it’s hardly surprising that some of the technology from the movies have been brought into real life. One of the most profitable film franchises ever, Star Wars captured the imagination of viewers with George Lucas’ vision of technology. The series might have been billed as “A long time ago…” but the technology on show is certainly something from the future.

With inventors creating real-life lightsabers that can cut through sheet steel at 4000°c, the sky is the limit. However, some of the more practical inventions from Star Wars, such as built-in vehicle navigation systems (sat nav) and bionic limbs have been reality for a while. While we haven’t yet seen real-life robot assistants like Luke’s lovable droids, our Google Homes are well on the way…

Minority Report

As well as predicting exciting new technology, Steven Spielberg’s 2002 film Minority Report offers a look into many of the practicalities that have accompanied the progression of technology. The film features voice-controlled smart homes, which have risen to prominence in the last 5–10 years, with an estimated 258 million smart homes currently in existence.

"Minority Report offers a look into many of the practicalities that have accompanied the progression of technology"

The film also plays host to an iconic chase scene which featured driverless cars. These could be here sooner than you think, with plans for fully autonomous vehicles to be active on UK roads by 2025.

Other commonly-used consumer technology in today’s world features in the film, such as fingerprint scanning and face identification.


Though we’re pleased to say that killer cyborgs like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 are still firmly out of the picture, the Terminator films correctly predicted a lot of other technology. Advanced killing robots may not be taking human form yet, but lethal drones have been used in military applications for several years and represent the future of warfare.

And, though ultra-convincing robots that can perfectly mimic human behaviour aren’t here yet, technology can convincingly imitate celebrity voices by analysing public audio databases, while virtual helpers like your Google Assistant can now answer your phone calls with surprisingly realistic accuracy. With humanoid robots from companies like Boston Dynamics becoming more and more advanced, you’d be forgiven for thinking realistic cyborgs aren’t far away.

Zytronic are leading global developers and manufacturers of award-winning touch sensor technology, supplying breakthrough features from object recognition to hover touch to their new ElectroglaZ™ breakthrough method of delivering power across glass panels

Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter

This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you. Read our disclaimer

Loading up next...