3:41pm PT by Jackie Strause
How 'Black Mirror' Predicted New Apple Technology
Black Mirror strikes again.
Another once far-fetched technology idea dreamed up by the series' creator, Charlie Brooker, has materialized, this time on the screens of the new iPhone X.
Shortly after the unveiling of Apple's new $1,000 iPhone on Tuesday, the social account for the Netflix anthology series tweeted out a cryptic image that only fans of the Black Mirror universe would be able to decode.
The image appeared to be a screengrab of the new emojis that were on display during the presentation at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, Calif. The iPhone X will have several new features, including a "TrueDepth" camera that enables a new face scan technology to turn users into virtual avatars. The Animojis, as named by Apple, turn people into the emoji that they use in text messages. Some examples that were tested out included the fox and poop emojis.
Among the avatars shown in the Black Mirror post, however, was a blue-faced character that wasn't in the original presentation. The character (second row, second from the right) is named Waldo and he hails from from the series' infamous "The Waldo Moment" episode. Brooker also shared the tweet.
Later, Brooker told The Hollywood Reporter: "If Apple really is using Black Mirror as inspiration for future products, I think we're all in trouble when season four launches."
— Black Mirror (@blackmirror) September 12, 2017
Throughout its three-season run, Black Mirror creator-writer Brooker has seen many of his techno-paranoia ideas — from apps to VR to personal tracking technologies — later make headlines for being in development. Most notably, however, he foreshadowed the rise of President Donald Trump with 2013's "The Waldo Moment," which saw an outsider who voices a cartoon bear winning an election by utilizing anti-establishment rhetoric. He controlled the avatar, named Waldo, with similar face technology that was on display Tuesday — until the avatar ultimately ended up controlling him.
When discussing the episode with The Hollywood Reporter last year, Brooker said the Waldo episode "was about a cartoon character who ran for office. At the time, I thought that was one episode that I didn’t really nail, didn’t get the stakes right. But if you look at that now, it’s really quite terrifying." He continued: "It’s more prescient than I realized. He’s an anti-politics candidate who’s raucous and defensive, and that’s all he is, and he offers nothing. He insults everyone and they lap it up because they’re so sick of the status quo. And then you look at Trump..."
Now, it appears Waldo is even more prescient than Brooker could have imagined. Some savvy users were quick to note the similarities on Twitter. Watch a clip from the episode below and see Apple's demo here.
The six-episode fourth season of Black Mirror, which is the second cycle of the BBC series to launch on Netflix, returns later this year. Brooker and executive producer Annabel Jones discussed their process for dreaming up stories and what's ahead in the new season here.