"Enhance 224 to 176.
Move in, stop.
Pull out, track right,
Center in, pull back.
Track 45 right.
Center and stop.
Enhance 34 to 36.
Pan right and pull back.
Stop. Enhance 34 to 46. Pull back. Wait a minute, go right, stop. Enhance 57 to
19. Track 45 left.
Enhance 15 to 23.
Give me a hard copy right there."
The Esper was one of a number of machines which played a prominant role in the 1982 film Bladerunner directed by Ridley Scott, putting it in the illustrious company of the Voight-Kampff machine, the Spinner and of course the Replicants themselves.
The Esper was designed by Visual Futurist and Production Designer Syd Meade, who's film credits also include 2010 - Odyssey 2.
The brief was to design a machine used for various purposes, most notably image manipulation. The overall feeling of the device was to mirror the ethos of the film, the "Future is Old" concept used by Scott for the rest of the production. The device Syd came up could be loosely described as a regular CRT television screen with a series of electronic odds and ends attached. Not in any way the sort of slick, shiney plastic devices that had become de rigeur in science fiction movies of the time.
The device is used by Deckard in the film to analyse a snapshot left by Leon in the replicant's hotel room, and by manipulating the photo using the Esper device, finds a clear image of Zhora, which constitues his second lead in the case of the escaped replicants.
The scene is one of the most evocative scenes in the film, as the combination of the smoke-filled room, Deckard's tired growl and the frantic bleeping of the Esper as it tracks across the photograph combine to convey the meeting of men and machines that was one of Scott's desired themes for the film.