A Droid Named HAL?

Posted by Rob Walker on August 15, 2010
Posted Under: The Designed Life

During a recent viewing of 2001, I got a bit fixated on HAL‘s “eye,” as a kind of icon of creepy machine intelligence that seems like it might be a useful visual reference point for someone to exploit around about now, when speculation, euphoria, and paranoia about computers, privacy, and digital intelligence are frequent topics of discussion:

And yesterday E (aware of my interest in the above) pointed out to me this promo image of the next Droid phone.

What do you think? Is that an intentional HAL reference?

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

Reader Comments

I think it’s a HAL reference. I also think it’s a “live Terminator” reference. Several ads for the Droid and Droid 2 have played up the tool’s ability to, through its sheer tech-intensity, transform the user into a Terminator-like android.

Verizon seems to be combining as many “Famous Western Androids” as it can. The new Droid, Droid 2, will come in an R2D2 variation (several ads for Droid have noted that the word is licensed from Lucas Film).

As a G1-owner considering the Droid 2 and the upcoming Epic 4G (I can’t seem to get much done on touchscreen keyboards), I’ve been, er, keeping an eye on this stuff.

#1 
Written By Marc Weidenbaum on August 15th, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

Marc, good info, thanks — I have not seen the ads, but that all makes sense. Or rather, it doesn’t make sense, but I get it.

Check this out, if I were a music-in-ads consultant, I’d prod the Droid-branders to use the second track here:
http://funky16corners.lunarpages.net/?p=788

(You gotta listen to it. It’s pretty great.)

#2 
Written By Rob Walker on August 15th, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

That Deodato cover is so excellent. Thanks. The future is the past.

#3 
Written By Marc Weidenbaum on August 16th, 2010 @ 10:56 am

This is bizarre. Just minutes ago I got a press release from Sony with its fall album-release list, which includes — you guessed it — Prelude, the Deodato record that opened with “Also sprach Zarathustra (Introduction).”

The release info says “Reissued and remastered on vinyl. This is part of the CTI 40th anniversary campaign.”

#4 
Written By Marc Weidenbaum on August 16th, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

intentional or not, I am sure they’re paying for it in one way or another!

#5 
Written By flashbar on August 17th, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

THANK YOU!!!
I though I was the only one who noticed this!

#6 
Written By Becky on September 23rd, 2010 @ 8:44 pm

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