Sometimes science fiction predicts the technologies that we will one live with; at other times, science fiction can inspire the types of technology we have today.
For example, things such as mobile phones and sliding doors were envisioned in ‘Star Trek’; the Internet search engine was a feature in Douglas Adams’ ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’; and technology depicted in the ‘Back to the Future’ franchise once seemed out of this world, whereas time travel apart, much of it is commonplace.
As we immerse ourselves in these sci-fi wonders, a question arises: which other fictional technologies will eventually transcend the screen and become a reality?
To consider what is possible, the company Distrelec has collated a list of the top 10 technologies from science fiction that are already here. Such a list is, of course, selective and based on the personal preferences of the selectors. It is, nonetheless, interesting.
The top ten technologies from science fiction that are already here
|Type of Technology
|The Fifth Element
|Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
|Robot-based Autonomous Refuse (ROAR)
|Iron Man 3
|NanoTech Suit – Mark L
|Big Hero 6
|Blade Runner 2049
|3D Printed Replicas
|Replicants (fictional bioengineered humanoids)
|3D Printed Replica
|Ready Player One
|Personal Artificial Intelligence
|No Time to Die
In terms of what could be next companies such as Uber are contemplating the development of Aerial ridesharing, somewhat reminiscent of flying taxis present in ‘The Fifth Element’. At present, we have unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) which have become increasingly popular for aerial photography, surveillance, and delivery services.
The Audi RSQ in ‘I, Robot’ included technology enabling it to predict traffic patterns, automatically adjust routes, drive, and park itself. Nowautopilotand advanced sensor coverage is becoming more widely utilised within the automotive sector.
Automated robots have been around for almost a century now, especially common now in Industry 4.0, where they help humans with automated tasks through a cyber-physical human intelligence system. Volvo, in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology, Mälardalen University, Penn State University, and recycling company Renova, have created ROAR. The Robot-based Autonomous Refuse uses a drone to scan the area and select certain bins, then deploys a robot to empty each bin into the back of the lorry truck