What makes a superhero?
Superhuman strength? Sure! Lightning-quick speed? Certainly! But let’s not forget the other advantage that many of these heroes share – access to amazing technology. In fact, many of these fictional adventurers use what are essentially Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Here are just a few superheroes already leveraging some amazing connected technology:
- Iron Man: Tony Stark’s entire suit is essentially one large, metal IoT device. Iron Man is constantly connected to the Internet and his entire empire’s network through Jarvis, the artificial intelligence system Stark designed himself. Inside his suit, Iron Man is able to pull up information on everything from weather patterns to mechanical schematics — in addition to doing other cool stuff, like flying and shooting energy blasts from his palms.
- Batman: The Dark Knight is perhaps the king of cool tech gadgets, among the most thoroughly awesome of which might be “The Tumbler,” the tank-style Batmobile from director Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. The Tumbler is a connected car capable of driving itself, not to mention jumping from rooftop to rooftop and going into undetectable stealth mode, adapting itself as the situation requires.
- Catwoman: Selina Kyle is a somewhat morally ambiguous character – alternately vacillating from villain to good guy. One of her IoT devices that comes in handy, regardless of which side she’s on, are her connected glasses which operate a lot like Google Glass. These special frames give her unique vantage points and allow her to collect information about her surroundings in real-time. For example, what material a wall is made of or the quickest route to escape a dangerous situation.
- Cyborg: Victor Stone doesn’t use IoT devices as much as he is one. An accident forces this hero to be melded with advanced prosthetics to stay alive. While this prevents him from ever having a normal life, it does give him incredible power. Cyborg’s metal parts are connected to each other with an internal computer that can also interface with external computers, giving him nearly limitless access to information and some impressive survival skills.
- James Bond: Bond may not be a superhero in the literal sense of the word, but he has nevertheless utilized a number of the cool gadgets to save the world over the years. It would take days to list all of 007’s amazing devices, from his multi-function watches to innovative flying machines. However, the list would certainly include his mobile phone from “Tomorrow Never Dies,” which could instantly scan and record fingerprints as well as remotely control his BMW car.
Some of these super devices are still somewhat futuristic and many may never exist outside of the pages of a sci-fi comic. However, an increasing number – like smart glasses, connected cars and smart watches – are already available to the general public. Every day, new low-power, low-cost LTE chipsets are making it possible for manufacturers to design and produce ever more innovative products, awakening the sleeping superhero in all of us.