Science Fiction That Became RealityHarry Coulter | 31 Aug 2018
Science fiction movies are a great deal of fun, for many reasons. But perhaps one of the most entertaining things about them is their intention of giving a glimpse of future technology, or even trying to predict what exactly future technology will be. Yes, sometimes films can be completely off the mark, taking a stab at things that won’t ever come to pass. Food in dehydrated bricks, anyone?
Other times, however, science fiction is remarkably close to the truth. So much so that the nail is hit almost exactly on the head. And, wouldn’t you know it, we all just so happen to live in the science fiction future. Just like the idea of playing casino games on your mobile device was once as far fetched as dead pop stars appearing in holographic images to sing to us, both concepts have now come to fruition.
We’ve rounded up the science fiction gadgets that have been brought to life and are now in use after they first made their debut in films.
3D Printers – Replicators
A number of popular science fiction books and television shows predicted things such as Replicators. Or, to be more specific, a device that seemed to magically make an object out of nothing. The specific term Replicator comes from Star Trek, and it, of course, seemed like outrageous fantasy that a machine could summon desired items, apparently from thin air.
Now, 3D printers don’t summon objects out of thin air. They manually put the object together, and it isn’t exactly instant, either. They are also a little limited in what they can currently create. Which is to say, a 3D printer can’t make you a sandwich. Something that looks like a sandwich, but it sure wouldn’t taste good.
Either way, a 3D printer is still a stunningly advanced piece of technology. Who knows where such devices will advance to our science fiction future?
PADD – iPad
Star Trek featured a nifty little device called a PADD, or Personal Access Display Device. How bizarre; a light, portable computer that you can take around with you. And, even more staggering, it communicates with other devices of the same kind. If anything, Star Trek was certainly clever, and amazingly forward thinking in their science fiction technology.
Naturally, portable computers are just about everywhere today. Devices like an iPad look the most like Star Trek PADD technology, but portable computers exist far more commonly. The average smartphone would blow the mind of an early Star Trek fan.
Heads-Up Display – Air Touch
The film Minority Report may not have been super popular, at least in comparison to some of Steven Spielberg’s other films. What it did do, however, was throw a whole lot of predictions around as far as technology went. The computer systems depicted showcased digital navigation based on remote movement, and facial recognition software that easily identified users.
Today, such systems are not only already being rolled out, but are also in the process of being refined further. Augmented reality is on the verge of being fully released, at it seems like only a matter of a few years, or perhaps even months, before Minority Report is fully realised. Of course, the question has to be raised as to whether motion based navigation will ever be more efficient than a mouse. At least for day-to-day activities.
Powered Armour – TALOS Suit
The 1959 science fiction book Starship Troopers mentions powered armour. And, of course, Iron Man has been around since 1963. The idea being, essentially, a man in a set of robotic armour, made stronger, able to withstand bullets, and be virtually unstoppable.
It may still only be a prototype now, but the TALOS armour is currently in development. It won’t allow soldiers to fly, or even leap tall buildings such as in Starship Troopers, but it is the first step on that path.
These are just some examples of tech from films that’s now a reality, and when you think about movies like the 5th Element you may wonder what’s coming next!