We believe that some technologies can only be realized in the future though they already exist at present in some other form. That’s not to say that you’ll be drafted for the next lightsaber battle on Mars anytime soon – but if there’s one thing we’ve learned from history, it’s that “real” science often does take its ideas straight from the pages of sci-fi. To make it easy to understand, read this list of Top 10 Futuristic Things That Already Exist In Technology!
10. Hologram TVs
We are all amazed by hologram TVs that we see in Hollywood movies. We look at them in wonder and believe that they are something our grandchildren will enjoy. However, we need not despair. This is one of the 10 future technologies that already exist. Prototypes have already been made and the Japanese broadcaster will have a fully functional version out in 2017.
9. Invisible Bike Helmets
We don’t remember this being in any sci-fi movies – but dang it, it totally should have been. The device is a mobile airbag which will supposedly replace all those unstylish bicycle helmets. It’s contained in a scarf which is worn around your neck, and at the moment of impact it inflates and forms a protective cushion around your head.
The Invisible Bike Helmet was created by Hovding, a Swedish technology company.
8. Hover cars
Hover cars have always been considered too futuristic. People believe that it’s impossible to have cars that can fly and we are happy with thinking of them as part of movies or documentaries. However, this is one of the 10 future technologies that already exist. Israeli scientists have been able to create unmanned battle vehicles for army evacuations.
What’s more terrifying than a human shaped robot? How about nanodrones – flying drones as small as mosquitoes that can take pictures, record audio, and take DNA samples from you without your knowledge.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – and the government’s use of them – have been attracting widespread public attention for several years now. You’ve probably seen stories about the Predator drones on the news.
Evidence for MAVs (micro aerial vehicles), on the other hand, hasn’t been provided quite so publicly, although some people claim that the government has been using them as domestic surveillance tools for years. It’s not as farfetched as it might sound: An MAV with a wingspan of only 3cm was unveiled at the 2007 International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, and eyewitness reports of dragonfly-shaped MAVs came in from an antiwar rally that same year.
6. Iron Man
Iron man has given people an insight into the world of exoskeletons. These are powerful armours that can give people additional strength to jump, run or lift heavy weights. And it is not just Iron man who can now do these things. Scientists have been able to invent such exoskeletons already, which can now be made available to general public, very soon. This is surely one of the most popular among additions to the 10 future technologies that already exist.
5. Conversation With a Man in a Coma
Science fiction authors have been fascinated with the human mind for centuries. As much as we know about the human body, the mind is still largely unmapped territory. In the medical world, comatose patients have always been a subject of intensive study. What are their minds doing? Do they dream? Can they hear you talk?
According to Professor Adrian Owen of the Brain and mind Institute, they can not only hear you – they can talk back.
Meet Scott Rouley, a 39 year old man who was involved in a car accident that left him in a coma for more than 12 years. Through the use of fMRI, a brainwave imaging technology, he has been able to respond to questions by forming thoughts that lit up specific areas of his brain.
This result was first achieved in 2010 by Professor Owen, in a study where comatose patients were asked to imagine themselves playing tennis, which caused activity in one part of the brain, and walking around their home, which caused activity in a different part of the brain. One of these activities represented “Yes” and the other stood for “No.” When asked questions, 5 out of the 54 patients were able to respond correctly. Remember, these are people in a coma with absolutely no motor function. They’re not writing books yet, but it can’t be far off.
4. Force Fields
The army has always wanted to enhance its effectiveness by building impregnable defences. In wars, a strong defence is as good as a powerful offence. The army always imagined having force fields to protect its forces. However, they need not keep waiting for it. UK scientists have already invented force field based on electromagnetic signals that can defend any army from attacks. The army definitely covets this one thing from among the 10 future technologies that already exist.
Transplanting a human brain into a robot: it doesn’t just sound like science fiction; it sounds like bad science fiction. But that’s what Russian Dmitry Itskov claims to be working towards. Granted, this isn’t a technology that is currently available, but Itskov plans to have it running in the next 10 years – well before all those billionaire baby boomers punch their final ticket.
The process would upload the person’s consciousness like a computer program into the robot’s mechanical “brain.” The project, creatively dubbed “Avatar”, envisions lifelike humanoid robots by 2015 and full consciousness transplants by 2020. DARPA is taking a similar approach to thought transference by setting aside $7 million to a project (yes, also named Avatar. Sigh…) that would allow soldiers to remotely operate robots on the battlefield through mind control.
2. Automated Driverless Cars
The 2002 film Minority Report was futuristic sci-fi at its sleekest. One of the major technological components was the automatic car: set it on autopilot, and it seamlessly moves along with traffic. We saw it again in I, Robot, and this is one real world technology that we’ve been waiting for for a long time.
The Google Driverless Car was the first real-world attempt that gained widespread public recognition, even after those videos of it running over traffic cones. Google claims that its small fleet has now driven more than 300,000 miles unassisted by human control, and usually has at least 12 cars out on the road at all times.
Not to be left behind, Volvo has recently tested its own “platooning technology” in which a string of driverless vehicles follows behind a lead car, stopping, turning, and accelerating in unison. In essence, they’re being electronically towed by the lead car, allowing the driver to “spend their time doing other things while driving”, which is something everybody does anyway.
1. Supervirus That Can Kill Everyone
Nothing is more terrifying than a supervirus with the potential to wipe out billions of people, but fortunately that’s the kind of stuff left to James Bond villains and shadowy corporations in movies. Or at least it was, until Ron Fouchier, a Dutch virologist, announced that he had created that exact virus in 2011.
The virus is a genetically altered version of the H5N1 virus, otherwise known as the avian virus, which is deadly among birds but has only accounted for around 500 human infections since 2002 (for comparison, the regular flu kills about 3,000 people per year).
With a few minor tweaks to the virus, Fouchier and his team made it simultaneously more deadly and much, much more contagious, to the point where it killed approximately 50% of the ferrets used for testing. Ferrets are commonly used to test viruses because their bodies behave much like humans.
In the tests, the virus was first transmitted between the ferrets manually, but after 10 generations it became airborne, and easily reached the entire population. And remember, this is a working model for how it would affect humans. Just imagine if that was released to bioterrorists. Oh wait, people already have – This has become one of the biggest controversies in the virology community, since Fouchier wanted to publish his entire method to the public.
So, future is coming! We might be able to witness the magical world of technology soon! So, how much you liked this article? Drop a like and share it with your friends. Subscribe to our newsletter to get some more science-packed articles. That’s all folks for today. Don’t forget to like our new Facebook page!
[Note: Images are for illustrative purpose only.]