6 Science Fiction technologies we have now

Let’s just get one thing straight… science has failed us. Where are the hover boards Back to the Future promised we’d have by now? The self driving cars I, Robot promised? Or even the androids that practically come as part of a package deal when you read a scif fi novel, or watch a movie made on it (cause you’re a philistine)?

When we read about them (or watch) they seem implausible and some downright absurd… only they’re totally real and here now!

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# 6 – Teleportation

‘ Beam me up Scotty!’ Star Trek popularised what has long been a most fond human yearning. The ability to travel thousands of miles in the blink of an eye. As the article puts it, teleportation is not a a process of transporting matter, but rather of information, like what a fax machine does. Physicists have already been able to exchange information between light particles, and they’ve been able to traverse a distance of 3 feet. It might not seem like much, but it’s a ‘step’ in the right direction. Human teleportation might not be just around the corner, but the technology has been developed and soon enough… we’ll be able to have breakfast in Prague followed up with a round of golf in California and be back home for lunch and call it a regular day.

Though it’ll make it quite a bit harder to avoid people when they can simply teleport over in less time than it takes a teen to send a text.

Oh shit! It’s Ahmed… tell I’m not at home!

We’d be like a species of Jumpers, only no Samuel L. Jackson running us into the ground at every turn.

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# 5 – Genetic modifications

Earlier this month, two scientists from Cambridge (or should we say the harbingers of humanity’s doom?), Dr. Sebastian Greiss and Dr. Jason Chin created the world’s first animal with artificial information in it’s genetic code. Sure for right now its just a worm, with an amino acid that isn’t found in nature.

And just for a few giggles they decided that the artificial protein would glow a cherry red under ultra violet light. Not just cause it looks bad ass, but because they wanted to be certain their little experiment worked. This almost certainly Nobel winning work is described by Dr. Chin as ‘incredibly pleasing’, while he steeples his fingers before him, while thunder and lightning rain down behind him.

Soon enough, Hollywood starlets and media darlings are going to decide they want multi coloured pooches, or glow in the dark kittens. And once this ridiculing of nature gains commercial appeal… the animals are going to decide they’ve had enough.

And we all know what the squirrels will be targeting.

It’ll be a long and brutal conflict, though thanks to our unmatchable ability to kick nature in the crotch we’ll come out on top, though it’ll be a Pyrrhic victory at best. So it’d be best if you kept those shotguns well oiled, you’ll probably need them soon.

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# 4 – 3D printer

Science fiction is littered with stuff like Replicators, machines that can spit out literally anything under the sun. It’s always been viewed as something too good to be true. How great would it be if you had one of those things at home? No more would you need to give World of Warcraft a break and actually go out and buy stuff. Why, just press a button and presto!!

But come on, that seems impossible. How would the darn thing know how to make intricate objects at the press of a button? Where would it get the materials? And so forth. But Dr. David Kaplan, a Theoretical Physicist (whatever that is) at John Hopkins University thought otherwise. In the video below you can see a him ‘print out’ a working, usable wrench using his 3D printer. Sure it takes hours to do it but it’s a start. Soon enough there’ll probably be one in every home, with others sitting in military complexes churning out nuclear warheads.

On a side note…. we all know it’s primary application at home is going to be to produce exact replicas of Nicole Sherzinger.

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# 3 – Invisibility cloaks

We all remember the Predator, the first part anyway. And the coolest thing about him was all that advanced tech. And the one thing everyone has always wanted was an invisibility cloak. Whether you intend to use it to run around Hogwarts and thwart Voldemort’s plans, or sneak into the Ladies Room, is up to you.

At the University of Tokyo, scientists have developed an optical camouflage technology. In essence, the cloak films what’s behind you and projects it on the front of the cloak. Sure it’s limited to the observer standing at the perfect position for it to work, but that’s just for now. In time, they’ll be able to move it into 3D and viola… instant invisibility.

For now it looks like one of those old black and white T.V. sets on the fritz.

There is also another technique in development that uses metamaterials, tiny structures smaller than the wavelength of light. They operate like a rock amid a stream, diverting the water around it. Only in this case it’s light, and the rock is you wearing only a smile, yet invisible to those around you.

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# 2 – Self driving cars

This one’s a dream come true. No need to fight traffic or lose your cool at that asshole in the fast lane doing a brisk 20 km/h. Yes sir, those days are well and truly over… or at least nearing it. Google, yes the internet people, has been working hard to make this possible. In June 2011, Nevada became the first state in the US to legalise self driving cars.

And though the article in the link talks about an accident one of these contraptions got into, Google also points out that this happened because the human inside had engaged the manual driving mode. So basically once we get the human element out of the driving, we can say goodbye to traffic jams and accidents, because robots can do pretty much everything better than we can.

Though pulling off a hit a low level street thug could do seems beyond them.

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# 1 – Androids

Ever since Asimov first decided to pen the 3 Laws of Robotics, books and films have been infatuated with the concept of androids. From Data in Star Trek to that annoying Haley Joel Osment in A.I., we as a species long for the untiring, willing labour of mechanised slaves… i mean… no, that’s exactly what I mean.

We want androids to cook, sew, clean and…. do other things to us. And until now our robot fetishes seemed ludicrous, unlikely we’d ever get to feel the warmth of a CPU encased in Christi Turlington’s form. But despair no longer! Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro from Osaka University shall sate our longings mechanical mating. He gives to us… Geminoid.

Was it just me or was that android actually really cute? And given that the good professor looks like he belongs in some 70s era porn we can figure out why he made her out to look as hot as she does.

For now, the android is tele-operated. But it’s only a matter of time before a buck naked Austrian body-builder travels back in time to kill the saviour of the human race in his crib.

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Categories: Science & Tech

Author:Ali Raza

"Is this the kind of person you want protecting the galaxy?"

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One Comment on “6 Science Fiction technologies we have now”

  1. rumi
    September 2, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    two thumbs up…

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