10 Movie Inventions Better Than the iPad

By  · Published on February 2nd, 2010

So the iPad is out. Big deal. Of course, we’ve already ordered 39 for Reject Headquarters, that doesn’t mean we can’t still yawn about it.

Especially considering the wide array of inventions we see in movies all the time – stuff that’s far, far better and probably fabulously more expensive than an over-sized iPod Touch.

Here are just 10 of those fantastic film gadgets:

10. Instant Pizza, Back to the Future Part II

The Pitch: Some may call you shallow, but you don’t want to wait 30 minutes for your dinner. You want it immediately. And you want it extra large with a pile of pepperonis on it. Fortunately, Back to the Future II has you covered with hydrated pizza. The iPad would break if you poured water on it, and it could never feed a family of four. Dehydrated food for thought.

9. The Tardis, “Doctor Who”

The Pitch: Stemming from our last entry, it would be easy to toss the Delorian on the list, but I wanted to aim a little higher. Time travel is great, but Delorians don’t fly off to different planets or parallel planes of existence. Neither does the iPad. The Doctor wins again. (And, yes, I realize this isn’t from a movie. Feel free to call this list bullshit in the comments section.)

8. Suspended Animation, Vanilla Sky

The Pitch: Despite being a worst case scenario of how this tech can go wrong, the suspended animation found in Vanilla Sky is breathtaking. Imagine being able to live in a dream world for the rest of eternity. I hate to keep harping on it, but the iPad will not make Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz fight over you.

7. Skynet, The Terminator

The Pitch: What could be better than an entire, interconnected information system? I see absolutely nothing wrong with a vast amount, an army if you will, of machines that help us in our daily lives and protect us with nuclear weapons while we sleep. What an innovation in technology. Simply brilliant. Fool-proof even.

6. Dinosaurs, Jurassic Park

The Pitch: So I’m talking more about the technology that brought them back than the creatures themselves – but they go hand in hand. Dino DNA. I want you to close your eyes for a moment. Now open them again and finish reading this, then close them and imagine that you’re holding a computer in your hand while typing up some documents and listening to Coldplay or whatever while chatting with your special lady friend. Now imagine that you own a damned dinosaur. You can only choose one of these scenarios. Which do you choose?

5. The Knife That Toasts, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Pitch: Even better than all of these listed so far is the knife that toasts while it cuts bread. Sure, having a dinosaur or a time machine would be awesome, but almost nothing compares to the best invention since sliced bread – since it completely negates the need for pre-sliced bread. Have I said the word ‘bread’ enough yet?

4. Bond’s Attache Case, From Russia With Love

The Pitch: Pretty much anything from Q Division (like radioactive lint and a rocket cigarette) is cooler than an iPad, but in From Russia with Love, Bond gets an attache case that includes:

I have no idea what a gold sovereign is, but I know that the iPad definitely does not come with a rifle. There’s no app for that.

3. The Continuous Orgasm Loop, Brainstorm

The Pitch: I see absolutely no need to expound on why this is better.

2. Transporter Beams, Star Trek

The Pitch: It is my personal belief that we will never have teleportation even if the technology exists. Think about it: gone would be the excuse that you’re “on your way” or that the “check’s in the mail.” People would have to be far more accountable, but if we could beam from place to place (or onto a ship moving at warp speed) it would be a far more awe-inspiring experience than, say, reading my email on a 9.7 inch screen.

1. Lightsabers, Star Wars

The Pitch: The big one. No, they won’t let you transcend time or space. They won’t let you live out a pretend fantasy world. They will toast your bread as they slice, come to think of it, but the ultimate reason they top the list is that they are so damned cool. Just try not to cut off your hand. Or your estranged son’s hand for that matter.

Editor’s Note: This list was compiled by Cole Abaius with suggestions from the devilishly handsome Kevin Carr. Yes, the Orgasm thing was his idea. You caught him.

What inventions did we forget?

Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector [email protected] | Writing short stories at Adventitious.