Ever watch a sci-fi movie and think of how great it would be if some gadget or contraption in the film really existed? I think about that probably every time I watch a sci-fi movie (Looper and Pacific Rim to name a few recent ones). Sometimes I even dream of living in a future where those technologies exist. How far away do you think humans are from traveling outside our solar system? How about great advancements in medicine? There is a world of things to speculate about regarding the technology that will exist in 20, 50, and 100 years. Here’s a list of ten sci-fi technologies that I wish existed now.
Teleportation. Traveling long distances in an instant is awesome. It doesn’t even necessarily need to be from planet to planet. Imagine if you could instantly teleport to Tokyo, Paris, London, Hong Kong, Dubai, or practically any city in the world? Goodbye airplanes.
Replicator. In Star Trek, you could name pretty much any food and instantly have it created and ready to eat. Ribeye, medium rare. Done. Tea, Earl Grey, hot. Yes, Captain. Instantly satisfying my food cravings would be amazing. Now, a lot of chefs would argue that this takes the art out of cooking, and it’s just merely a robotic arrangement of molecules. I’ll concede that point, but I still want my Replicator.
Faster Than Light (FTL) Travel. The largest barrier for intergalactic travel is the ability to move at sustainable speeds that would allow humans to traverse the galaxy in the course of a lifetime. While cryogenics and other states of stasis have been introduced to circumvent the great length of time associated with traveling these distances at sub-light speeds, the ability to travel at multiple powers of c would certainly allow for much more effective exploration of our universe.
Force Fields. There are many practical applications for a force field, and depending on how large or small you could create one, it could be extremely beneficial for us. For example, force fields around cars could probably prevent a lot of automobile casualties. Jails could use force fields. Force fields could probably be used in the medical field. I’ve long been intrigued with these barriers of energy, and it would be cool if it were real.
Holo-Deck. Virtual reality is pretty much a relic of the past. Enter the Holo-deck, a simulated reality facility popular in the Star Trek series. It’s essentially a time machine and teleportation device in one. Imagine becoming a pirate on the Atlantic, or a detective in a murder mystery, or playing basketball with your favorite athletes, it’s all there. You can simulate any time, any place, and have a fantastic adventure.
Time Machine. I recently wrote an article of 6 things I would do if I had a time machine, so you can take a look at some of the things I would do. But if I actually had one, without any restrictions, who would I visit? When in time would I go? Would I go into the future? There are so many possibilities, so many unexplored times that the textbooks just can’t capture. Let’s go.
Invisibility. I don’t really have a good explanation of why I would want this, except for the cool factor. It’s simple. I want to be able to become invisible.
Prosthetic eyes. This may be closer to realization than most of the other technologies on this list. A bionic visual aid has been developed at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center as well as University of Southern California. The implant is designed to be placed behind the retina, and was a success in trials with rodents, where the rodents successfully responded to patterns of black and white stripes placed in front of them. But giving blind people the ability to see? That would be a great technological advancement.
Direct download (into the brain). Remember in Matrix where Neo learned Kung-Fu in 10 seconds? I want to plug in and learn stuff. I would become fluent in 20 languages, learn martial arts, learn about political theory, chemistry, biology, history, pretty much everything.
The Neuralyzer. “K, have you ever flashy-thinged me?” Smirk. The Neuralyzer was the silver, cigar-shaped device that emitted a bright flash that could erase one’s memories of the past hours, weeks, months, or years. Delete a bad memory. Or make someone forget something. This is simply awesome.