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Echelon Conspiracy phone helps you win money, cheat death, get hit by trains

Spy thriller Echelon Conspiracy bombed in the US, but it stars the ultimate handset: a phone that can tell the future, predict what slot machine will pay out, and kill you. And is that a dual OLED screen we see? Sweet

Our mobile already controls our life -- we talk to it, we respond instantly to its calls, and we fall asleep stroking its dreamily smooth case.

But what if, instead of blank text messages from inside our idiot friends' pockets, it could provide us with the winning lottery numbers? The answer lies in the mystery wrapped in an enigma that is the movie Echelon Conspiracy.

Since Neo unboxed his Nokia 8110 ten years ago in The Matrix, mobiles have filled supporting roles in films from Casino Royale to The Da Vinci Code. Finally, Crave's dreams have come true with a film that gives a phone a starring role. Admittedly, this totally CGI phone is as fake as Hollywood teeth, but it's still got the skills. Echelon Conspiracy, with a name that came from the same Scrabble game as Quantum of Solace, features a handset that can tell you what roulette numbers to bet on... and, oh yeah, it might kill you.

Nokia loves product placement, with its handsets popping up in The Dark Knight, Cloverfield, and Britney Spears's Womanizer video. There's no brand marking on the Echelophone, but The Boy Genius Report speculates that it has a whiff of the Nokia Aeon concept phone about it. 

Based on the trailer (below), the only way the film's producers could allow the phone to sparkle in its debut role was to surround it with actors who were barely willing to move their lips.

But it seems that a phone doesn't have the acting chops to carry a feature film, and we may not see Echelon Conspiracy in UK cinemas. According to IMDb, outside the US it only made it to Russia, South Korea and Kazakhstan, where a lack of English-language skills is sure to be advantageous to viewers.

In case you're wondering, Wikipedia says that Echelon is the nickname for the communications intercept web run by the awesomely acronymic AUSCANZUKUS. Personally, we'd have preferred the film to be called The Auscanzukus Conjecture.