5 Sci-fi Technologies That Exist Today

May 3, 2018 Smart Cookies

Science fiction is one of the greatest gifts mankind has been given, by brilliant and creative minds who’s imaginations surpassed those of most of their contemporaries. Indeed, it would not be an exaggeration to claim that sci-fi has contributed tremendously to real-world technological development. After all, yesterday’s sci-fi reader and viewer ended up becoming today’s inventor!

Here are some of the sci-fi technologies of yesteryear that have either become, or come very close to becoming, reality:

1. Fingerprint and retinal scanners

Remember the doors, safes and lockers that opened with fingerprint scanners and retinal scanners in the sci-fi movies of the last century? Well, it’s no longer just a nifty gimmick in movies. Biometrics are now very much a fact of life – and the countless movies, TV shows and cartoons that depicted its use helped pave the way for that.
They are now used for security purposes at airports, offices, health clubs and even on your cellphone!

2. 3D printers

Star Trek is in a league of its own, when it comes to inspiring technological innovations. As one of the most iconic franchises of the genre, it has helped pave the way for a number of great scientific breakthroughs.
Remember the Star Trek replicator? If you do, you’ll realize that it’s basically a 3D printer, envisioned decades before 3D printers were a thing in real life! Star Trek’s replicators depicted an item materializing out of thin air, letting the characters have pretty much what they needed or wanted. 3D printers may not be the miracle machines that Trekkies know, but they can be used to manufacture a wide range of items in a relatively short span of time – with numerous applications in science, medicine and technology. The uses of a 3D printer can be as varied as printing a simple part of a larger working model to printing conduits for surgery in the human body.

3. Indoor skydiving

2013 saw the release of Ender’s Game, based on the novel of the same name by author Orson Scott Card. The movie was centered on an unusually gifted child who was sent to a very advanced military academy in outer space to prepare to fight an alien invasion. Being in space, all the training rooms in the movie were anti gravity – a setting that naturally lent itself to some visually stunning training and fighting sequences.
Well, indoor skydiving has gone a long way towards making those scenes a reality. In an ‘anti-gravity room’, air is pushed through a tube at such high pressure that people are able to experience a skydiving-like situation. Gaining popularity all across the world, the indoor skydiving experience is a must try for those who loved the anti-grav scenes from the movie..

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4. Tactical assault suit

The plot of Iron Man 2 revolved around the US military’s efforts to get their hands on Tony Stark’s armors. Well, in the real-world, the US military doesn’t have a Tony Stark to rely upon, but that hasn’t stopped them from developing their own tactical assault suit.
The new battle suit being developed by the military is called TALOS. It is said to have the ability to ward off bullets and consists of internal antennas and computerized support to provide the user with enhanced awareness of his/her surroundings. While TALOS can’t fly, and doesn’t have a ‘JARVIS’ that the user can chat with, it’s no doubt a brilliant work of military engineering.

5. Vacuum elevators

There aren’t many kids who haven’t watched either Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, or the relatively more recent Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Well, the tubes that suck the chocolate from the river of chocolate and into which Augustus Gloop ends up getting sucked in were the inspiration for pneumatic or vacuum elevators.
The pneumatic elevators are now used for delivery systems within buildings and are also a functional option for normal elevators.