There's a nifty post on Metamedia about high tech in classic film noir. Fascinating idea for a movie series. As the author notes,
What struck me about these two are that the technology are not incidental (the way most modern product placement is) but crucial to the central story. These are not just gadgets tossed into a scene to shown them off, as is usual in James Bond films, for instance, but they are central to the story.
I'd think back to that great image of Dr. Mabuse from Fritz Lang (1933 version), speaking from a machine behind the curtain, for starters.
Metamedia wishes for more examples. Oblige, please!
(thanks to Eccentric Cinema for the image)