8 Science Fiction Technology We Have Today

Minority Report

8 Science Fiction Technology We Have Today

Back when Tomorrow’s World started airing on TV, we were promised that by the turn of the millennium we’d be zipping around in flying cars, and have colonies on the moon. While those big dreams haven’t come true, there are some technologies, such as automatic door openers, that we now take for granted, but that would have looked pretty space agey a few decades ago. Take a look at this list of Sci-Fi technologies that are now part of our daily lives.

Digital Books
Back in the 1960s, Stainislaw Lem predicted that people wouldn’t use paper any more – they’d use a touch-screen with books stored inside of them. Considering that no technology was particularly portable back then, that’s an impressive prediction, and it sounds a lot like the Kindle, iPad, and other devices we have today.

George Orwell predicted that “Big Brother” would be watching people by 1984. He made the prediction in 1949, and the first CCTV cameras were installed in England in 1969 – so for once, technology developed faster than sci-fi imagined.

The Internet
In 1898, Mark Twain suggested that one day we would have a “telectroscope” – a global, pervasive information network based on the telephone. That sounds an awful lot like the early Internet!

Automatic Doors
Automatic doors are a staple of almost every old sci-fi movie, and they must have seemed pretty innovative at the time. Now, they’re present in almost every shopping mall, hospital, and school. The technology behind an automatic door opener is pretty simple, but motion sensing must have seemed amazing when it was first dreamed up.

Transparent Aluminum
Transparent Aluminum was first mentioned in the fourth Star Trek movie, when Scotty has to explain the formula to an American engineer. Today, we have ALON (Aluminum Oxynitride), which is a strong transparent material that the Air Force is considering using as a replacement for bulletproof glass.

The original Star Trek communicators were flip-open devices that the crew of the Enterprise held in front of their face to talk in to them. That seems an awful lot like the way people use cell phones in speakerphone mode!

Hyposprays were used by Bones McCoy to give the crew of the Enterprise a variety of medications. Today, we have hypospray style jet injectors – they aren’t in common use yet, but the technology has been around for decades.

Digital Billboards
Do you remember the Digital Billboards in Minority Report? Those billboards could scan people as they walked past, identifying them and displaying personal advertisements. If that sounds scary, then you don’t want to go to Japan! Japanese railway companies are testing out digital billboards that can tell the age and gender of the people going past them, and show custom ads to those people. Granted, the billboards don’t try to figure out who you are, and won’t call you by name – but the thought of being profiled at all is odd enough.

Written by Wayne Barker, a fan Asimov, Bradbury, Huxley and Clarke – when not writing or reading about advanced technologies he works for http://www.automaticaccess.co.uk/