We might find an old school Sci-Fi a bit cheesy, but secretly, most of us love it. Those Sci-Fi TV series we saw re-runs of as kids were all supposedly set 500 years in the future. But one look at the fashions and attitudes within them made it very obvious these were products of the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
However, some of the ideas explored by those writers and prop designers inspired a generation to think how wonderful it would be to actually have some of those items and gadgets we saw on the screens in real life.
While humanity hasn’t quite conquered teleportation or going to work using personal jet packs just yet, here’s a list of some of the things that, in the 40-50 years since those programs first aired, now exist in our homes and in our pockets.
- The Mobile Phone.
Who would have thought that when Captain Kirk flipped open his communicator and asked to be beamed up (though he never actually said ‘Beam me up Scotty’ in the TV series) that less than 50 years later, we’d all be holding something far more sophisticated in our hands, and using them every day. It’s an interesting thought that if 60’s sci-fi had dreamed up something like our very own modern smartphones and put those in the programs, that it might have been considered too far-fetched.
- Digital Billboards
No 80’s dystopian future Sci-Fi was complete without a multitude of corporate advertising on huge digital billboards. Whilst the 21st century hasn’t played out exactly like Blade Runner has – at least, not so far – a walk around Times Square, Piccadilly Circus in London or simply viewing a major sporting event will show you we now take digital billboards for granted and how they have become the norm in society.
- Automatic Sliding Doors
This one came quite quickly on the heels of appearing on TV, but only on big, expensive entrances to shops and offices. More recently, technology developed to create auto sliding door systems in your own home, which can be triggered by both humans and pets. As things stand, though, you’ll still have to make the ‘schhkt’ noise yourself.
- Bionic Limbs
Bionic limbs have been a mainstay of Sci-Fi television for a very long time. Most famously, Luke Skywalker had a bionic hand fitted after a family reunion went a bit wrong, and while we can’t match that just yet, researchers are developing a way for amputees to control each of their prosthetic fingers using an ultrasonic sensor.
- Driverless Cars
If you’ve seen Total Recall, you may remember ‘Johnny Cabs’ and how the thought of cars driven by a computer made you feel a little uneasy. However, as a lot of the systems in our cars are already managed by a computer and how the technology already exists to operate cars solely using satellite navigation and eliminate human error completely, the next step is almost upon us.
However, none of us want to be sat in the back while our new driverless car has a glitch and decides to turn itself off then back on again.