The Most Spooky Pieces of Tech From Black Mirror, Because Who Needs Sound Sleep Anyway?

The Most Spooky Pieces of Tech From Black Mirror, Because Who Needs Sound Sleep Anyway?
The Black Mirror logo, Netflix. Image: Compiled by Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

We at Gizmodo Australia love weird and creepy gadgets, so obviously we’re drawn to the tech that appears in Black Mirror.

Also, yay, Season 6 of Black Mirror is (reportedly) a go. To celebrate the return of the mega creepy show, here are five of the most memorable spooky and weird pieces of tech the show included.

Obvious spoiler warning if you haven’t watched much Black Mirror! But, because it’s an anthology series, the whole show won’t be ruined by these gadgets.

The Men Against Fire neural implant (Season 3)

This one is creepy and all kinds of messed up, as far as what it means not only for the protagonist of the episode but also for us as humans.

In the season three episode Men Against Fire, soldiers are given neural implants and then sent into active duty. They’re sent out to kill “Roaches”, which are human-like beings. It’s filmed as a very Call of Duty-esque scene, where a squad of soldiers are clearing a building of roaches and acting like the good guys.

It turns out that the neural implants were actually creating an augmented reality overlay in the brains of the soldiers, making them see members of an ethnic group as Roaches. Tech-led genocide, as it seems.

This was a seriously messed up kind of technology shown in this episode, made even more spooky by the fact that the memories of soldiers could be wiped and that their dreams could be influenced (a good soldier, for example, could be rewarded with an erotic dream).

Not only does it completely shield soldiers from the fact that they’re committing war crimes, but it also says something about how desensitised we’ve become about war through media. Polygon did a fabulous video on this recently.

black mirror tech
Image: Netflix

The Black Museum pain hairnet (Season 4)

Though the season four episode Black Museum showcases a wide range of tech, one of them stands out as particularly creepy.

In the episode, while a museum curator is recalling the stories of some tech, one of the gadgets turns out to be really interesting: a hairnet that transfers the physical sensations of the wearer to another person, provided they have a neural implant.

This story is particularly dark: a doctor gets the implant and uses the hairnet to investigate what is really wrong with his patients. It makes him an incredible doctor, until one time he wears the hairnet as one of his patients dies.

The sensation ends up being so very intense that he becomes a sadist from the event, self-harming and eventually murdering a homeless person while wearing it. It puts him into a coma.

Yeah, yuck. Tech billionaires and entrepreneurs, please don’t see this as a good idea.

The Striking Vipers videogame (Season 5)

So, I’ll be honest, when I first saw this episode of Black Mirror, I burst out laughing and couldn’t take it seriously.

In the season five episode Striking Vipers, a new videogame has come out that leverages sophisticated virtual reality, allowing for sensory feeling beyond sight and sound. It’s a fighting game that looks a lot like Mortal Kombat. 

Anyway, you can have sex in the game. Like, with other people, while you’re both playing as the characters you’ve chosen. In the show, two straight guys play the game together and end up having sex. They both really enjoy it, but one of them is married.

The episode ends up taking this really interesting moralistic turn, when it’s decided that the two can continue to bang in the Striking Vipers videogame (the joke of the name is only dawning on me right now) while the married woman is allowed to go to a bar and meet a stranger without her wedding ring.

Will this ever happen? Probably not, who knows. Is it interesting, to watch tech influence a moral decision? Yeah, absolutely.

black mirror tech
Image: Netflix

The Crocodile memory tech (Season 4)

In Crocodile, an episode from season four, an insurance investigator uses a special kind of technology to recall the memories of the user in assessing an insurance claim.

A pretty evergreen concept, right? That your memories (that which you experience through your own eyes and senses, at least) can be observed through a piece of tech later on? Evergreen tech as far as Black Mirror is concerned, at least.

Anyway, this kind of memory tech leads the protagonist to do some… pretty messed up things, including murdering people so that their brains can’t be used in recalling the event (a rule of the episode is that dead people’s memories can’t be accessed). Doing something messed up and then doing more messed up things to cover that up, because technology. Again, woof.

It’s… not a pretty episode, especially by the end. Yikes.

The San Junipero simulation (Season 3)

Okay, so this tech is from such a good episode that it may as well be considered a separate show to the rest of Black Mirror. It’s hardly even a horror episode, frankly.

In the season three episode San Junipero, it was revealed that the entire town was a simulation for people that had died or were near death. For those who had died, their consciousnesses would be uploaded to the San Junipero system, free to act out their lives in a virtual afterlife. For those who were near death (the old and infirm), they could only visit the simulation from time to time.

As far as creepy tech goes, this is probably one of the more evergreen ones, but it’s one that definitely sticks in my mind. On the other hand, isn’t it kind of sick to imagine reality going on indefinitely, in such a tiny town? That’s what creeps me out the most about this.

An entire virtual heaven for people to act young in again, woof.

black mirror tech
Image: Netflix

When is Black Mirror Season 6 coming out?

A release date for Black Mirror Season 6 hasn’t been indicated, but we’ll hopefully learn more soon. In the meantime, you can watch all of Black Mirror and see all of its creepy tech on Netflix.

Make sure you check out our article on every major sci-fi, fantasy, thriller, horror and adventure flick hitting cinemas in 2022.