The Fictional Future of Home Entertainment

SQUID Recordings Origin: Strange Days What is it? Using a jack plugged into the cerebral cortex, users can record every aspect of their experiences and burn them onto media that look suspiciously like Minidiscs. Later, others can play the disc and experience the recording as if it was happening to them. Why we want it: You can skip the screen, amps, receivers and speakers and use all that money you saved on a really high-quality brain cable. That seems like the kind of thing you'd want to spend the extra money on and buy from Monster. Although we would feel a little better if the experiences weren't stored on Minidiscs.

The Picture-in-Picture-in-Picture-in-Picture Screen Origin: Back to the Future 2, Idiocracy What is it? Generations of fast cuts and Youtube videos have rendered the attention span of a the average human to less than a second. That means a screen with less than 12 different shows airing simultaneously is boring and old. Why we want it: Actually, we'll take a pass on this one. One big, clear picture has worked just fine for us so far. We don't even use the picture-in-picture feature we already have. Plus, as Idiocracy showed us, it's just another thing to get filled with annoying ads.
3D Projection Origin: Star Wars, The Jetsons What is it? It looks so simple when R2D2 beams a 3D picture out of his cute little round head. He doesn't need a screen. Leia simply appears, giving you every opportunity to ogle the noble heroine from 360-degrees. Why we want it: Pocket-sized pico projectors are making their way onto the market, which is a big step ahead for projector technology. Of course, 3D projected images are still a long way off, but it will sure beat the pants off of having to wear lame 3D glasses.
The Holodeck Origin: Star Trek: The Next Generation What is it? As a person who isn't all that into Star Trek, a great fear of misquoting facts from the show's mythology lives within me. So, I'm going to cop out and quote this from the Wikipedia article: "The holodeck is depicted as an enclosed room in which objects and people are simulated by a combination of replicated matter, tractor beams, and shaped force fields onto which holographic images are projected." Why we want it: In reviews, we frequently talk about a system's ability to create an immersive experience, and the Holodeck is the ultimate. It takes virtual reality to an entirely different level and all but eradicates any reason anyone could possibly have for going outside or dealing with people in the meat space (reality).
The Minority Report Computer Origin: Minority Report (Duh) What is it? Tom Cruise uses an incredible, translucent display that he controls with hand gestures. It's enormous, beautiful, and works flawlessly enough that they can rely on it when hunting people who might commit murder. Why we want it: Having played with Microsoft's Surface and HP's far less impressive TouchSmart PCs, it's obvious that there's a place in the living room for multi-touch. Plus, we would look so good in that glove with the glowing fingertips.
The Holophoner Origin: Futurama What is it? It's played like a traditional musical instrument, but rather than just producing a sound, it creates entire scenes with incredible 3-dimensional visuals. Of course, you have to be good at it for it to work. Otherwise, the results are about as impressive as playing a Wii through composite cables. Why we want it: It doesn't count as a piece of home theater gear on its own, but if you were to buy yourself one, along with a robot to play it for you, you'd have access to incredible audio-visual experiences at all times. I would keep the Grumpy Snail on repeat.
Implanted Memory Vacations Origin: Total Recall What is it? A shady company called Rekall will slam a heap of false memories into your brain, making you think that you just went on an adventure, when in reality, you were just laying on a slab. If they could come up with a home version, we would be all set. Why we want it: Conceptually, it's more complex than the Squids from Strange Days, but it's similar in that it skips your eyes and ears and directly tickles your brain. Even a Pioneer plasma (R.I.P.) can't do that.