What are some fictional gadgets from past movies that have made their way into mainstream use? The answers to this question may very well leave you scratching your head.
Captain Kirk predicted the future when using his communicator to speak with his crew while out and about. In fact, many scientists from the 1980s have stated that this diminutive device was one of their inspirations when creating the mobile phones that have become part of our daily lives.
Most Star Wars fans are unaware that the acronym "TIE" in TIE fighter actually stands for "twin ion engine". This type of propulsion may one day take us away to distant worlds. Although still in its infant stages, George Lucas may have gotten it right all the way back in 1977.
We return to Star Trek once again for this one. Fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation may have caught a glimpse of Captain Picard accessing data in his ready room via the use of what appeared to be a tablet. It only took Microsoft and Apple another ten years to finally catch on.
This was thought of as pure science fiction when first used as a plot element in Back to the Future II. However, it would only take another 20 years before facial recognition software became a reality. Many smartphones such as the iPhone 6 have this technology as an optional feature.
Movies such as Star Trek and others have always tempted us with the idea of travelling through space in the blink of an eye using a teleporter. This is actually possible, although currently on a small scale. As transporting and encoding anything as large as a human would take unheard-of amounts of computing power, this ability still may be decades away. Still, we can nonetheless teleport elements on a subatomic level.
Popularised in classic films such as War of the Worlds and Invaders from Mars, the fictional "ray gun" is now used on a military scale. Although such devices are not small enough to mirror the efficiency of the blaster used by Han Solo, many governments employ larger aerial-mounted devices to target potential threats such as inbound missiles and hostile aircraft.
2015 is the year that Marty Mc Fly visited in the film “Back to the Future” and the iconic scene where he rode a hover board is etched into people’s memory. Of course, building an actual board which levitates above the ground has proven to be difficult, but some companies are promising to bring it to us very soon.
One such company which has received over half a million dollars on Kickstarter is Hendo. They promise to release a real hover-board, although it seems it has its limitations. For example, even though some journalists have ridden one, they say it’s extremely noisy, the battery lasts only a few minutes and it only works on a metallic surface.
But wait, another and potentially more promising product has been announced by Lexus. Yes, Lexus, the huge luxury car maker has announced their board, and if nothing else, it looks fantastic:
Why is it more promising? Well the company is obviously part of Toyota which means they have massive research budgets so there’s a chance they may have something here. Much like the Hendo, it appears it will need its own surface and as yet, there’s no video of it being ridden, but maybe, just maybe, we’re going to see a fully working board in Toys R Us soon!