1960s-era sci-fi phones are no longer fiction
One of the running gags in the hit '60s TV show Get Smart was the crazy telephones used by Maxwell Smart, aka Agent 86. Tucked inside ties, combs, eyeglasses, ice cream cones and, of course, shoes, phones were always ringing at the most inconvenient times for the bumbling spy. With the June 20 release of the movie version of Get Smart, we decided to see how many of these once-futuristic phones are available. Here's our list of 10 "Get Smart" -inspired phones that you can buy today.
So smart it's a cinch
NEC's belt phone kicks accessorizing up a notch. In an episode of Get Smart entitled "Satan Place," Agent 86 uses several hidden phones in one scene, including a belt phone. Last year, NEC unveiled a leather belt with a built-in cell phone at the Wireless Japan 2007 Expo. Only thing odder looking than using this gadget would be lending it to someone else.
Hands on the wheel, all right
Smart or too clever by half? A patent has been granted for a steering-wheel mounted cell phone that operates similar to the one in Get Smart: The device that looks safer is a cell phone holder for your seatbelt. With either gee-whiz device, it'll be a challenge for drivers to keep their eyes on the road.
What's in your wallet?
More than credit cards if you own one of these babies. Wallet phones have been available in Japan for four years. These cell phones have built-in debit cards that allow users to pay for items with cash or conduct other transactions such as buying movie tickets and train passes. The latest versions also feature cameras, radios and MP3 players. As convenient as they are, wallet phones aren't expected to reach a critical mass until 2012.
Phones don't get any geekier
Magnified demand seen for microscope model. A cell phone/microscope combo is under development for use in telemedicine applications. The system would allow health workers in remote areas to capture microscope-quality images of diseases and transmit them to medical facilities for analysis. College students taking lab courses may find this prototype microscope add-on for their cell phones handy.
A PC use for that cigarette lighter
Turn your car into a veritable cone of silence.Agent 86 used a phone hidden in his car cigarette lighter in the episode, "Our Man in Toyland." You can buy a Bluetooth hands-free that plugs into the car cigarette lighter for around $70. And it's commonplace to recharge your cell phone with your car's cigarette lighter. Who says life doesn't imitate TV?
A pocket watch for a modern man
Gentlemen prefer this type of gadget. This device is retro and modern at the same time. It's a pocket watch with a computer inside that lets you check your voice mail, e-mail and text messages. What's missing from the one Max Smart used in the 1960s era TV show? A full-featured phone.
Redefining pillow talk
Max Smart had a headboard phone and a bedpost phone that he used in various episodes that showed his high-tech bedroom. We found a hands-free Bluetooth pillow for lying in bed and talking on the phone. Dubbed the perCusion, this device was shown at the 2007 CeBit show. It's supposed to be available for purchase in 2008.
Nothing says smart like a shoe phone
Excuse me, sir, but I believe your shoe is ringing. Max Smart's shoe phone is infamous. To see how popular it is, just look at the contest YouTube is running for people to submit their funniest shoe-phone videos. While real shoe phones are unrealistic, there is a high-heeled novelty shoe phone that you can buy today in one of five colors -- perfect for any outfit. You can also get a sneaker phone for a more casual look.
What do you think?
We want to hear from YOU. Let us know what you thought of our Get Smart gadgets, or if there's a great one we missed. Just click the 'Post a comment' link below.
Today's Best Tech Deals
Picked by PCWorld's Editors
New eBay coupon: Up to 15% off sneakers & apparel
Sam's Club Coupons
Good Value! Sam's Club offer - $45 for a membership
Sign up today for 15% off Overstock coupon
Walmart Promo Code
Walmart promo code for an additional $10 off grocery app orders
Target offer - 25% off furniture
40% off furniture & mattresses $750+ JCPenney coupon