Five Pieces of Fictional X-Ray Technology We Wish We Owned


X-Ray technology may have made some important strides since its initial accidental invention, but it has yet to equal the strides made by many forms of popular culture. Real world X-ray tech doesn’t have nearly the efficiency, technological adaptability and coolness of the X ray tech of movies and television.

Sure our X-ray machines can detect people carrying dangerous weapons like keys and loose change before they board planes, but they don’t serve any serious purpose beyond that. These are the technologies that are not only more efficient and functional than their real world counterparts, but they can also make us cooler as a species.

1. The X-Ray machine from Total Recall

total recall

When the Transportation Safety Administration announced that airport passengers would have to subject their flabby naked bodies to X-ray scanners to make sure they weren’t packing heat (in an non-anatomical sense), the libertarian rights advocates flipped out. They argued that no one, not even the government, should have the right to violate the right to privacy in our pants.

This full body sci-fi scanner from the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie where Arnie yells more than a guy who lost a foot in a pneumatic meat slicer would not only address that aching concern but also help TSA officials find hidden weapons without having to use their sweaty hands on any part of their passengers. Instead of subject innocent people to having to look at naked pictures of their billowy patrons, they could just scan them down to their bones and highlight the offended metal weaponry that people can’t bring on planes. They could also help their passengers find calcium deficiencies and diagnose tumors in between their plane and their stop at the Cinnabon.

2. Q’s X-ray sunglasses in The World is Not Enough


If we had access to Q’s laboratory, there are about a dozen other gadgets from this mad genius that we would try to put in our pocket while he wasn’t looking. The switchblade knife shoes would be at the top of our list because how many people can say that they can field dress a deer AND open a letter with the same, easy to use device?

The tasteful blue lense sun blockers not only would allow us to see through walls and women’s clothes purely for national security purposes but could also make for a tasteful accessory to any outfit we choose to wear in the field. It’s like having an X-ray machine on your face that makes you more attractive to the ladies.

3. CTU’s X-ray satellite from 24


It’s actually quite surprising that the world doesn’t have this x-ray technology yet since the last presidential administration used the gripping adventures of Jack Bauer as the basis for every policy and issue that ran across their desks ( It’s a wonder that the Star Spangled Banner hasn’t been replaced with that “beep, boop” sound that runs over the clock in every episode.

It’s also a wonder that the CIA hasn’t tried to develop this technology for their spying missions and surveillance exercises. This satellite cannot not only see anything on the planet without having to move its position in outer space, but it can see through any surface and give agents precise coordinates and locations down to the style of flak jacket the suspects are wearing. So not only can it find out where the perps are hiding, but also (and more importantly) whether or not they are fabulous.

4. Bender’s X-ray specs from Futurama


Part of the genius of pop culture X-ray tech is its inconspicuousness. Not only can it help you make sure your enemies aren’t carrying high caliber weapons or a winning poker hand, but it also has the ability to not let your enemies know that you’re looking at what they are holding and, by default, their underwear.

The robot Bender uses his Ray-Ban style sunglasses to not only let the world know that he’s the most fashionable mechanical beings since the Montags, but also to help him beat his fellow human rubes at poker. Beat is really not the operative word. It’s more like beat them into a financial coma that they couldn’t recover from if President Obama bailed them out with federal tax dollars.

5. The sunglasses from They Live

they live

Of course if you live in a world that’s being controlled by a mega secret race of aliens looking to enslave humanity without them knowing it, looking good doesn’t matter as much as it should. The star of “They Live” clearly realizes that since for the majority of the film, he looks, sounds and (presumably) smells like an out-of-work lumberjack.

The glasses that he wears in this movie not only ruin his already ruined wardrobe, but they make up for their obvious deficiency by allowing him to see the true nature of the world around him from the humanoid dwellings trying to control him to the subliminal advertising in the media around him. These things would be great to have in the real world for the Fox News Channel alone.