We need to talk about how Sci-Fi our lives are, and we need to talk about it now.
There’s never been surprise or dispute in acknowledging Sci-Fi writers’ keen prophetic eye in predicting human destinies in terms of social organization, economic state of affairs, social fluctuations, technological and technical improvements and all other aspects that intertwine and overlap with the existing forms; however, the surprise does hit in the very rapid implementation of all the predicted circumstance, so much so that we’re still in disbelief (for the most part, at least).
Here, we check out some of the futuristic gadgets that used to wow us but are now a part of our everyday or will soon be:
1. Instant Messaging
Pretty in Pink Computer was the hit at the time and we would all be jaws droppin’ and eyes popin’ around with the scene where instant messages were shared around. Now, randomly receiving a message is ominous and everywhere. In fact, if you are reading this over your phone, there’s probably someone popping in the corner of your screen as we speek.
2. 3D Printers
Sure, they’re not as glossy and flashy as they were in Star Trek, and they don’t have the coolest name of all – Replicator – but they sure have the same function. Granted, 3D items aren’t appearing out of thin air, but they can make food, jewelry and even body parts, like replacement skulls! And that’s not all – “scientists are even examining its use in space to print spare parts” which is pretty amazing, you’ll admit.
In Star Trek we knew it as PADD, now – it’s iPad. Potato – potato. These days you can have a Personal Access Display Device of your own without much fuss and even have a cute coat for it. Talk about Sci-Fi life, ey?
4. Google Glass
Remember that awesome Virtual Display Device from Star Trek? So do we, and now everyone, even those who never had the chance to gush over this amazing invention in ST, has the opportunity to enjoy it.
The difference between the two devices? Well, the headsets was a sort of screen in the brain that allowed the evil Dominion to see outside their ships with just a turn of the head; Google Glass is “a tiny screen just outside your direct vision that plugs you into everything you want” — photos, email, recording, and evil.
5. Moon Travel
Back in 1902 (in France) we’ve had the first sci-fi movie featuring astronauts blasting off on a bullet-like ship to land the moon and get familiar with its inhabitants. Even though the U.S. was the only country to put a human on the moon, Russia and China have landed spacecrafts there as well and we suspect it won’t be long till another man is walking/floating this bumpy surface.
If you’ve read Jules Verne’s 1870 classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea you know what we’re talking about.
7. Voice control
Someone say Siri?
HAL was one of the most threatening movie villains of modern cinema, this horrifying voice-controlled computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey we’ve never even dreamed of coming to life. But, voice control has gone mainstream with the introduction of software like Siri on the iPhone 4S.
8. Limitless everything
Human nature is everything but limitless (at least that’s what we’re taught from day 1) and Limitless TV series and movie were (and still are) convincing us otherwise. With a synthetic smart drug NZT-48 a person is able to remember and cross-correlate all previous memories/experiences, learn any language by simply listening to it being spoken in the background, and beat virtually any challenge a “regular” human wouldn’t. Not sure if we yet have this drug, but we do have a range of boosters with a pretty similar effect.
9. Video Calls
When Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke imagined it back in 1968, seeing loved ones at the graze of a screen seemed like a distant future. Yesterday, I face-timed with my dog. ‘Nuff said.