Table of Contents
- Batman’s movie gadgets are often grounded in fact, but not all of them would work in real life. For example, the Batman credit card would give away his secret identity.
- Batman’s shark repellent spray could exist, but it wouldn’t necessarily be reliable as it could enrage some sharks instead of repelling them.
- The Batman’s camera contact lenses in “The Batman” wouldn’t work in real life, as the technology for high-definition live-streaming in contact lenses doesn’t exist yet.
Though the gadgets used by Batman across his various movies are an iconic part of the hero, many of them simply wouldn’t work in real life. Over the years, the character of Batman has seen a truly staggering amount of variation. Though much about the DC icon is often rewritten for a new iteration of the character, one fact remains a relative constant: Batman always uses gadgets. Though he may lack the superpowers of his Justice League contemporaries, the Dark Knight possesses vast personal wealth that allows him to employ the use of cutting-edge technology, and an intellect that allows him to use this to his best advantage.
Not all versions of Batman are intended to be overly realistic, but the nature of his gadgets is always relatively grounded in fact. As any Batman movie essentially follows a hero without any superpowers, including the right gadgets is key to any cinematic adaptation of the character, but not every piece of technology employed by the hero is entirely plausible. Though Batman’s movie gadgets are certainly useful to the hero himself, they aren’t always as realistic as many Dark Knight adaptations would have the audience believe. From the irredeemably silly to the scientifically inaccurate, here are 10 Batman movie gadgets that would never work in real life.
10 The Batman Credit Card Would Give Away The Hero’s Secret Identity
Batman & Robin features a number of ridiculous inclusions that are considered ill-advised at best, but at one point during the film, Batman and Robin find themselves bidding in an auction to win an evening in Poison Ivy’s company. As their bids begin to number in the millions of dollars, Batman whips out his credit card, seemingly registered to the hero himself. One of the most concerning issues with this is that, if the card is indeed functional, it would compromise the hero’s secret identity by leaving a paper trail to Bruce Wayne. As Batman is simply an alter-ego, he presumably would have had trouble opening his own bank account.
9 Batman’s Shark Repellent Could Exist, But Wouldn’t Necessarily Be Effective
One of the better-known ridiculous gadgets used by the hero in the 1966’s Batman is his shark repellent spray, which he uses to repel a hungry shark. Technically, this could exist in real life, using pheromones to dissuade oceanic predators, but it wouldn’t necessarily be particularly reliable. After all, what would scare one shark away could potentially enrage another, meaning that Batman’s shark repellent spray would be as likely to kill him as it would save him. Though it would be theoretically possible, the sheer number of unknowable variables would make any such spray unreliable at best.
8 Using Knockout Gas Requires Knowing The Height & Weight Of Targets In Advance
Though Adam West’s Batman used many silly gadgets, his villains also employed some unrealistic technology. In the 1966 movie, the Riddler uses knockout gas to render the heroes unconscious, but doing so in real life wouldn’t necessarily have the same effect. Anesthetizing a person requires knowing their height and weight in advance to calculate the exact concentration needed. Too much would kill the target, and too little wouldn’t work. Though gas can technically be used to knock a person out, the way the Riddler used it would be as likely to kill as to capture.
Despite being perhaps the most grounded take on the titular hero, Matt Reeves’ The Batman saw the Caped Crusader use technology that isn’t yet possible in real life. After learning that Catwoman has access to the corrupt underbelly of Gotham City, Batman equips her with a set of contact lenses capable of live-streaming her actions to the Batcave. Being able to transmit high-definition imagery in real-time might be possible, but the technology certainly doesn’t yet fit into undetectable contact lenses. As implausible as the technology is, The Batman does a pretty good job of making it seem real, even if it wouldn’t work in real life.
6 The Batpod’s Rotating Wheels Would Give Less Control Over The Vehicle (Not More)
Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy reinvented Batman as a hero who could potentially exist in the real world, with many of the gadgets he uses based on cutting-edge military technology – including his vehicles. Though the trilogy’s Batmobile is designed to be as practical as possible, its version of the Bat-Bike – named the Batpod – is deceptively unrealistic. While navigating the tight corners of Gotham’s streets, the Batpod’s wheels rotate to allow for increased maneuverability. The practical application of such technology be essentially impossible, as the Batpod’s momentum alone would see the bike spin out of control.
5 Using A Sonic Gadget To Summon Bats Wouldn’t Ever Work
In Batman Begins, the hero uses a sonic gadget to issue a sonic wave that summons a colossal swarm of bats, allowing him to escape in the ensuing confusion. In practical terms, this would require the time to train thousands of bats to come to a specific frequency. Also, the device would undoubtedly attract or upset animals other than bats, but it’s the notion that the sound would travel for miles through a bustling city to reach enough bats to be of any help to the hero that’s a step too far. It’s an interesting idea, but it’s complete nonsense.
4 The Microwave Emitter Would Be Uncontrollably Dangerous
Often pointed out as one of the biggest plot holes in Batman Begins is that the gadget used by Ra’s al Ghul would be dangerous for an entirely different reason. The microwave emitter used to evaporate Gotham’s drugged water supply would theoretically do the same to the water inside people’s bodies, killing them in an incredibly horrific and time-effective manner. However, even if the emitter was somehow calibrated to avoid doing this, it still emits microwaves, which are incredibly harmful to humans. The concentrated microwaves could have a number of adverse effects, making its use in Batman Begins all but impossible.
3 Modern Phones Wouldn’t Support The Dark Knight’s Sonar Device
The Dark Knight sees the hero use an unethical sonar device to quickly map out Gotham by manipulating the phones of unsuspecting civilians, but this wouldn’t work in real life. Even though it would theoretically be possible to hack millions of mobile devices at once, getting them to issue the frequency needed for a sonar effect would ultimately be impossible due to the speakers used in modern phones. The phones wouldn’t be able to emit the frequency required for the sonar device, meaning that the seemingly grounded gadget Batman uses to compromise the privacy of thousands is entirely implausible.
2 Batman’s Grappling Hook Would Need To Be Much Bigger
Perhaps Batman’s most iconic gadget is his grappling hook, but even this wouldn’t work in real life. As well as being physically imposing, Batman also wears an armored suit, and is equipped with any number of gadgets. His grapple gun is usually around the size of a small pistol, and there’s simply no way it contains a cable strong enough to hold his weight. What’s more, the hook itself is almost always far too small, and wouldn’t find anywhere near the amount of purchase needed to help propel the hero upward. Both the gun and the hook itself would need to be considerably bigger just to hold Batman’s weight.
1 Batman’s Cape Wouldn’t Help Him Glide Through The Air
Though each iteration is slightly different, every live-action Batsuit features a cape. Batman is often shown gliding through the air using his cape, but from a scientific standpoint, this isn’t really possible. The surface area of the cape is relatively very small, and would almost certainly do nothing to slow even a simple descent (for a reasonable comparison, consider that of a parachute, which still isn’t able to counteract gravity). Therefore, being able to use the cape to effectively fly over the streets of Gotham is pure fantasy, making it yet another Batman movie gadgets that wouldn’t work in real life.