7 Scary Tech Inventions That Will Give You Nightmares

By Abby Schachter

When it comes to technology, we always hear about fascinating and innovative inventions – the things that inspire – but we rarely learn about the not-so-great tech ideas, patents, and inventions discovered along the way.

In the spirit of Halloween, we compiled a list of creepy inventions most likely to take a dystopian, Black Mirror-esque turn.

1. iCaskets are the Future

It’s nearly 2020. Insert: the smart coffin.

Your modern iCasket comes fully-loaded with the latest technologies, gadgets, and features. We’re talking about surround sound, high-def LED lights, and a full LCD screen on the lid. Everything to make your funeral experience more enjoyable.

Not only that, this bad boy keeps your dearly departed connected to social media so eulogies and condolences can be live-streamed and projected on a bed of background music through its speaker system. What’s next? Tombstone holograms that link your loved one’s consciousness to the Cloud?

There’s more.

If a casket isn’t your thing, you can customize an urn to replicate your face … or someone else’s. Not weird at all.

2. Live Streaming with Your Eyes (Literally)

Imagine having access to WiFi at all times without having to carry around any devices.

Turns out Samsung applied and received confirmation that their patent for specialized “smart” contact lenses was accepted. The invention allows the wearer to access all their information just by blinking. Also, the technology is supposedly able to record and snap photos. You’d have thousands of snapshots of times, places, people, and things you wouldn’t otherwise remember. Super cool, right?

The issue here is privacy. Technology is hackable. This gadget also reminds us of a terrifying Black Mirror episode in which people have chips implanted that record every second of their life. Sure, it’ll help in terms of solving crimes – just remove the contacts from the victim (if the murderer hasn’t already) and get a replay of the crime. The same goes for traffic accidents, customer service incidents, and anything else that doesn’t abide by the law.

This falters on Big Brother territory.

3. Coffin Talk

Let’s throw it back to a not-so-modern invention. It all started with the ringing of a bell.

Back in the day when the plague was rampant, burials were a daily occurrence. Unfortunately, MDs and coroners didn’t have the medical knowledge we do now and sometimes a lot of the time people were pronounced dead when they were in fact not. Without the right tools, it was tough to distinguish whether a heartbeat was present and many people were buried alive. Not surprisingly, being buried alive was more feared than the plague or death itself and the panic inspired some interesting inventions.

Enter our favorite, the coffin bell.

This brilliant creation allowed the not-so-deceased to signal for help by tugging on a string within their entombment, which was attached to a bell on the surface. If the person had been pre-maturely encased 6-feet under, the bell worked as a cry for help. Imagine hearing a ringing grave in the dead of night. PASS. Also, what happens on windy nights? Sounds like the worst internship ever.

4. Google Bathroom

Who needs a general practitioner when you’ve got Google Bathroom? The technology includes sensors in your mirror, tub, bathmat, and your toilet. Why? To measure your health, of course, and to collect all the data for healthcare professionals. It’ll also be able to warn you of any health concerns/warning signs and provide analysis on muscular, endocrine, and nervous system health/predictions.

Take a look at the patent if you don’t believe us.

Looks great, right? The problem here is that if the AI is available for everyone, would this effect insurance? Would people be refused coverage for not being diligent and buying into this preventative (and likely pricey) service? What if you are blamed for not taking the right steps to measure your health and refused medical insurance after a health scare because your bath mat was running low on batteries and misdiagnosed you with a cold instead of scabies?

If you’ve ever dealt with insurance claims, you know this is scary stuff.

Don’t forget about false positives. Technology is not perfect and it can’t predict or pick up on everything. Hypochondriacs beware! If you diagnose yourself with WebMD on a weekly basis, this invention may send you spiraling or it could curb those fears because you don’t have jaundice, just poor bathroom lighting.

5. Spyware Tattoos

A tattoo that can hear me? “Sign me up,” said no one ever.

Google is just full of mad scientist ideas and we like it. However, this one sounds a bit tricky because this patent is for an electronic skin tattoo that can be connected to your mobile device. It’s worn on the throat and only works in combination with a communications device, such as a phone, that needs to be held nearby (like your pocket).

This sounds like the ideal spy tool. We’re thinking James Bond or undercover cops.

6. Social Credit Systems

If you’ve got a big followship on Twitter, this might be your ticket to the good life. A system based on “social points” measures your daily interactions fiscally, online, and socially. This means your social activity equates to a better “credit score” which could get you that loan or promotion even if someone else is more qualified. Social credit relies on a recorded database that tracks everything, so if you get a traffic violation, miss a payment, or allegedly leave a rude comment online … you lose points.

The scariest part of this situation is that social scores are already a thing in China. It sounds like a sci-fi story. Oh wait, it is.

7. A TV That Watches You

We recently talked about how important a positive digital experience is, but this may be taking it a bit far.

Verizon has the patent for a smart TV that can detect your movements, sounds, and reactions as a way to create targeted advertisements geared toward whatever it is you’re experimenting with at the moment.

So, what can it do?

The TV will pick up on ambient sounds. So if you’re humming show tunes to yourself, an ad for a musical, singing lessons, or medication may pop up.

This device will detect actions between the user and their mobile device, as well as person-to-person interaction. If you and your spouse are having an argument in front of the TV, an ad for a divorce attorney or marriage counseling could easily pop up. Sounds like a blast!

Granted, technology this advanced is pretty cool and you might be wondering how this is scary.

They’re in the process of developing CX and understanding the algorithms that go with it. Anytime recording is involved, there’s cause for concern. Having personal information leaked can wreak havoc, just imagine the impact invasive info like this could have. Again, technology is hackable and this is potentially another way to have the lens on us at all times. But who’s to say this isn’t already the case?

Like George Orwell once wrote, “Reality exists in the human mind and nowhere else.”

Share your deep-seeded sci-fi fears with us and we’ll post our favorites on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.