Science fiction has produced many worlds that might be seen as predictions of the way technology and society could develop in our own lives, from the machines dreamed up by novelists like H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, to the imagined futures of films like Back to the Future or Robocop.
While the expectations of flying cars and cities on the moon by the year 2000 proved overly optimistic, some of the predictions made in science fiction have already come to pass, or are on their way very soon.
10. Robotic Dogs From Doctor Who
K-9 was more than a pet, since he came with the ability to speak and a useful laser weapon. Real life attempts at creating robotic animals in the past have gone down the route of making slightly creepy, battery-sucking pets for children, like the Tamagotchi and Furby, but we can now buy a more endearing robot pet designed to keep the elderly company, or even find ourselves terrified by animal-shaped surveillance drones
9. Communicators and PADDs from Star Trek
Not only can we communicate through cell phones and earpieces like Uhura’s, we have various tablets and devices that can do even more than the Personal Access Display Devices used on Star Trek. The PADD was basically an e-reader, used for searching the Starfleet databases and checking schematics, but we can take photos, shop and chat on our iPads, and we can just use our touchscreens to interact with them, rather than having to keep track of a stylus.
8. Video Calls from Any Sci-Fi Future,
and Video Holograms From Star Wars
Skype has given us the ability to look people in the eye while we are debating our tactics or negotiating the surrender of an alien nemesis, just as they have been doing in Sci-Fi series from Star Trek to Firefly for decades. Not only that, but it is now possible to create the sort of 3D video holograms that people have used to chat in various Stargate series, or to send a message in a bottle in Star Wars. So far, video holograms have mainly been used for entertainment, but if we can watch projected band members on stage, it can’t be long before someone starts marketing this technology as a commercial product.
7. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
A guide to the universe might still be a bit beyond us, but we are building up a repository for all knowledge and wisdom online that can be accessed through handheld devices, giving us all of the information we need as we go through the day, much of it in a tone that is not dissimilar to that found in the Hitchhiker’s Guide.