5 Ways 'Inspector Gadget' Totally Predicted the Future

#2. Cameras Are Watching Us All the Time


30 years ago:

The good guys weren't the only ones who had access to fantastic technology in Inspector Gadget -- Dr. Claw, Gadget's archenemy (and the real Gadget, if a certain fan theory is to be believed), had his own technological tricks, including the apparent ability to spy on his enemies anywhere in the world. It doesn't matter if they're inside a moving vehicle ...

" ... would you mind not looking at me like you want to fuck me, M.A.D. Cat? "

Swimming in a pool ...

"OK, seriously, dude, it's creeping me out."

Or just chillin' in a park ...

"Finally, I can masturbate in peace."

... Dr. Claw is always watching them, clenching his metal fist in anger and sounding like he's about to spit a huge loogie. It's never explained how Claw gets cameras everywhere, but presumably it's the work of his criminal organization, M.A.D. Who else would have the resources and the complete disregard for privacy to pull off such a stunt?


Other than the present-day British, that is. Currently, London has something known as the "Ring of Steel," a perimeter where, once you cross it, you can't so much as fart without being captured by security cameras from all angles. Estimates vary, but the consensus is that there are slightly fewer than 2 million cameras in the whole of the United Kingdom. That's one camera for every 32 people in the country.

Kirsty Wigglesworth / Getty
"And 32 cameras for every hot person."

So if Dr. Claw existed today, he'd probably go to England ... or just, you know, use Google Street View. Forget M.A.D. and their conspicuous-looking agents. With just a few cameras mounted on cars, Google has managed to take 360-degree pictures of pretty much every street in Spain, France, Italy and the USA, thus violating our fundamental right to walk out of our homes buck-naked and not end up going viral.

"I'll get you next time, naked lady! NEXT TIME!"

At least that's what happened to this innocent woman from Florida who just happened to be at the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong amount of clothes. Google usually blurs faces and license plate numbers, but somehow her picture remained unblurred for a whole day after it was discovered.

Google only shows you still pictures, but in the '80s, even that was considered a farfetched fantasy. More importantly, Dr. Claw seems to have predicted the current era of voyeurism -- is there a better representation of the Internet age than a guy in a dark room sitting in front of a monitor and spying on other people? Hell, he even has a cat.

#1. "Gadgets" Are Intentionally Made Defective


30 years ago:

We've established by now that Gadget was pretty much useless in his own show, so it isn't that surprising that, in an episode called "Gadget's Replacement," Chief Quimby tries to kick him out and replace him with a giant crime-solving computer.

"We got it from some dude named Robin."

The computer is hijacked by Dr. Claw, though, and in the end Quimby is stuck with the inefficient old model (namely Gadget). The thing is, this was actually a first-season episode: Gadget, whose cybernetic enhancements must have cost a considerable investment for the Metro City Police Force, was barely 22 episodes old and he was already becoming outdated.

There are probably 30 of these things in the dumpster behind the police station.

It's as though whoever was in charge of furbishing the police force with their technological crime-fighters intentionally made Gadget defective so that he would only last for a while before having to be replaced ...


Does that sound familiar? It should, because tech companies do it all the time. It's called "planned obsolescence," and it's the reason why you conveniently get an email from Dell offering discounts on a new laptop just as your two-year old one starts malfunctioning.

"I'll work around it."

Creating products that last forever simply wouldn't be good business. This is why, for example, iPhones come with a built-in battery rather than a removable one: Once the battery becomes useless, as it's designed to do, you're going to want to replace it, but Apple charges $85 to do that (even though a new battery costs only $20). That's because Apple doesn't want you to replace the battery; it wants you to buy a new damn iPhone.

This also goes for the accessories. If you've already sold your soul to Apple and bought a new iPhone, you know about the new proprietary "lightning connector," replacing the old 30-pin connector. This means that you can't plug your new phone into any existing docking stations, and that you'll also need new cords and chargers. Yeah, there's no way you're getting out of going to an Apple store and buying a whole bunch of shit every couple of years if you want to be a Mac user.

"It's worth the price of feeling superior."

In other words, we have this incredibly advanced technology at the tip of our hands, but it's intentionally made dumber and designed to fail just to make us spend more money, kinda like Inspector Gadget trying to use his technically-impressive head helicopter and flying upside-down into a wall. Actually, it's exactly like that.

For more pop culture psychics, check out 6 Eerily Specific World Events Predicted by Comics and 6 Mind Blowing Ways 'Starship Troopers' Predicted the Future.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out The Smartphone Commercial That Will Ruin Your Christmas

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