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We love our smartphones, and our tablets, and all of our gadgets. We love them because they can do so many things. They’re impressive devices, so why wouldn’t we love them? But you know what? Our phones are lame when it comes to the devices that we see in movies. They don’t even need to be movies set in the future or anything. Some of these handsets (and tablets) have features that we just don’t have. Sure, it looks fake in most cases, but that could be because in some of those instances we know what it’s supposed to look like.

For example, back when Real Steel released, I offered up an article about the cell phone that Hugh Jackman’s character uses. It was a transparent display, and as I said in the article it looked like what the iPhone could potentially look like a few years from now. In that particular case it didn’t look all that fake, because for all intents and purposes that phone didn’t actually exist. But if you’ve seen a movie where someone uses an actual iPhone once or twice, then you’ve probably witnessed a phone that’s still on the home screen and not actually in a call.

These things happen, but it’s a minor technical gaff that most directors and producers probably don’t care about. For me, I think it’s fun to find. I love when phones and other devices have computer generated images depicting the phone functioning, rather than actually having a phone function the way it’s supposed to.

It all comes down to marketing and what a film can include in a movie. But, we’ll keep Hollywood politics out of it. Instead, I want to talk about a feature I saw in The Howling: Reborn. (If you aren’t a fan of “bad” horror movies, skip it.) There’s a scene where the main character is sitting in class with his cell phone out, playing around with it. We find out he’s listening to some music. A moment later we find out it’s a Motorola DROID he’s listening to it on. The camera cuts to a view of the phone’s display, and it’s a purple hazed-out background with some message bubbles on the front.

Nothing like how the actual text messaging application looks on the original DROID, but it does look pretty responsive. He’s texting a girl a few seats behind him, talking about whatever. And then she asks him what he’s listening to. Now, in another movie, or maybe in real life, the kid would have just told her what he’s listening to, and she probably would have given him some general platitude. Or, he could get up from his seat and share one of his earbuds, so she could listen in.

Instead, the kid does a few taps on the keyboard (that’s right, he’s still technically texting I think), and then a pop-up appears that reads STREAMING. And then, with unicorn dust in the air, the girl puts on her own headphones and starts listening to what he’s listening to. I didn’t like any other part of the movie. This is a feature that I want. Now. Not even because I’d use it every day, but because it’s an awesome feature.

And just think about if it was expanded to movies! Even if it were something like Bluetooth that made the transfer possible, it would be a cool feature to have. Or something like WiFi Direct, if you’re Samsung. This goes beyond just sharing videos. I think it would work better with music, especially with streaming services like Spotify or Rdio, but the idea would still be cool for movies, too.

Being able to share your streaming music in real-time to someone else’s phone would be a feature I’d be more than willingly to pay for. It did immediately make me think about the days of sharing headphones with someone so they could listen in on the music you were enjoying, but obviously in today’s age socializing has a slight degree of separation now.

What about you? Would you use a feature that allowed you to share in real-time the music you were currently streaming? Or, what if you could stream the music on your device to someone else’s in real-time? The result would be the same, with just a slight variation of the method. Would you use something like that? Let me know!


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