I’m a sucker for the hopeful retro-futuristic vision for society brought to life in in Disney’s 2015 sci-fi fantasy “Tomorrowland” (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures). The movie is full of wild inventions, but the one I wanted for myself was the pin.
Our hero, teenager Casey Newton, touches a small pin — a badge with the letter “T” (for Tomorrowland, of course) — that instantly transports her to the secret society of scientists and inventors. In this world, jetpacks, androids and flying trains are just part of an average day. Only she can see this world when touching the pin, because the pin is programmed to her DNA.
Spoiler alert: She’s not actually teleported to another place by touching it. The pin is essentially a perfect form of virtual reality, a pre-recorded advertisement that motivates her to find a real way into the world. It’s the ultimate in entertainment: VR with no headset, no wires. No special room (I’m looking at you, Holodeck). You can be completely immersed in the sights and sounds of another world just through touch — assuming you’re cool with giving a company your DNA to program it for you.
- Bridget Carey, senior editor