Michael Jackson – Tech and Gadgets

Ok – noone can say that he wasn’t a skilled arranger, composer, writer and dancer.

Although the King of Pop has gone to jam with James Brown and Elvis I can’t ignore the fact that he also touched the gadget world.

First up is Patent number 5255452, filed in 1992.


This is the secret behind how Michael Jackson and his dancers could lean at 45-degree angles during live performances of the song “Smooth Criminal“.

1. A system for engaging shoes with a hitch mans to permit a person standing on a stage surface to lean forwardly beyond his or her center of gravity, comprising: at least one shoe having a heel with a first engagement means, said first engagement means comprising a recess formed in a heel of said shoe covered with a heel slot plane located at a bottom region of said heel, said heel slot plate having a slot formed therein with a relatively wide opening at a leading edge of said heel and a narrower terminal end rearward of said leading edge, said recess being larger in size above said terminal end of said slot than is said terminal end of said slot; and
a second engagement means, detachably engageable with said first engagement means, comprising a hitch member having an enlarged head portion connected by a narrower shank portion to a means for raising and lowering said head of said hitch member above and substantially level with or below said stage surface, said head portion being larger in size than said terminal end of said slot and said shank portion being narrower than said terminal end of said slot, wherein said hitch member can be moved through apertures in said stage surface between a projecting position raised above said stage surface and a retracted position at or below the stage surface, and when said head portion of said hitch member is raised above said stage surface, said first engagement means can be detachably engaged with said projecting hitch member, thereby allowing a person wearing the shoes to lean forwardly with his or her normal center of gravity beyond a front region of said shoes, and maintain said forward lean.


Also – who could forget the Sega video game ‘Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker‘ (actually separate games for the arcade and Sega Genesis/Master System consoles)?

Moonwalker was an early example of celebs appearing in video games, and for using digitised versions of some of Jacko’s songs.

The ‘plot’ is that MJ is tasked with rescuing helpless children from a crime boss named Mr. Big.

The arcade version was a basic isometric beat-’em-up, with two players able to play as twin Jackos – one in a white suit, the other in a red one.

Jackson’s special attack was to obviously bust a wikkid dance move – when he starts his move a spotlight appears as he pulled off some signature spins and kicks, destroying anyone in his soft-shoes’ way.

RIP MJ – Sha’ Mon!

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