When Sci-Fi Movies Become Reality

Science fiction movies can offer up technological advances that are both the stuff of dreams and nightmares. Whilst it might be cool to be able to time travel or wield a lightsaber, would you really want to be living in the world of Ex Machina?

It’s these far-flung fantasies that make the genre pure escapism. But some of these fantastical endeavours that have been brought to the big screen have already become a reality.

So, is cinema influencing our reality and shaping our tech? Or was the science already heading there?

We take a look at five movies that have predicted technology or gadgets that have since become reality.

Let us know which sci-fi tech you’d love to see come to life in the comments section.

back-to-the-future-carBack To The Future

It just wouldn’t be a list without this classic, would it? From self-lacing shoes to video calling to 3D movies, the Back to the Future trilogy has predicted an almost scary number of technologies that are now part of our everyday lives over 35 years later. Virtual reality, voice assistants and fingerprint scanners also make an appearance here; at this point, we’re not so sure that Doc’s car wasn’t a time machine in real life …

star-trek-3Star Trek

Despite perhaps appearing more far-fetched than Back to the Future at first glance, there are a surprising number of things that Star Trek predicted ahead of its time, and the list continues to grow to this day with recent technology launches allowing for invisible power delivery and even transparent, hologram-like screens akin to those seen on the Enterprise. The list here is extensive, as Star Trek predicts everything from tablet computers and medical scanners to wearable communication devices, Google Glass-style augmented reality to automatic doors; we can’t help but think that Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek’s creator, would be impressed by the number of his ideas which have ended up becoming reality.

star-wars-the-force-awakens-peekStar Wars

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… Star Wars is such an integral part of pop culture in many countries that it’s no wonder that people have attempted to replicate some of the famous technological wonders of the movies. From real-life lightsabers to bionic limbs, built-in vehicle navigation systems to robot assistants, our real-life tech is slowly starting to catch up with childhood fantasies of being a Jedi Knight.

Minority Report

Released almost 2 decades ago, Spielberg’s Minority Report confronts important questions about the progression of technology; although its “Precogs” are yet to exist, AI software and machine learning are enabling organisations to predict consumers buying patterns and preferrences, and companies like Google and Tesla are making driverless cars a reality as seen in the film’s iconic chase scene, with the recent announcement that self-driving cars could be allowed on UK roads as early as this year. Smart homes with voice control are also becoming increasingly popular, with an estimated 258 million smart homes currently in existence, whilst fingerprint and face identification technology is now a widely available consumer technology used to unlock most modern smartphones.

terminator-aroldTerminator

I’ll be back… Killer cyborgs (thankfully) remain out of the picture as we approach 2029, the year in which Arnold Schwarzenegger’s titular character time travels from. However, other technologies from the movies have become a reality, including advanced drones which have been used by the military to devasting effect for years, and are now widely available to consumers in less deadly form. And whilst robots which can accurately emulate every aspect of human behaviour aren’t here yet, technology can convincingly imitate celebrity voices by analysing public audio databases and Google Assistant can now answer your phone calls for you with often eerily human responses.

As technology continues to evolve faster than ever, more and more technologies from our favourite sci-fi movies will inevitably become a reality. But we probably don’t want to see half men-half flies or brain implanted storage devices just yet …

 

The listicle in this article was provided by Zytronic. Zytronic are leading global developers and manufacturers of award-winning touch sensor technology.

Mary Munoz
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