by Eithne Dodd
Movies have predicted the future before, so why not again? Star Trek (1979) had communicators; now we have mobile phones. The Terminator (1984) had military drones decades before they became a reality. While we can’t transfer our faces onto someone else just yet, facial transplant technology took years to arrive in the real world after Face/Off (1997) predicted it. Here are five more technologies from science fiction movies that might also come true.
A group of scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently discovered a way to remove the fearful memories of mice. Mice were given an electric shock via a cage before having their Tet1 gene extracted.
Scientists found that when the mice were placed back in the cage but not shocked, those with lower Tet1 levels still displayed fear of the cage, whilst those with higher levels learned the cage was no longer dangerous.
The characters in Total Recall have implants in their hand that operate like a phone when put on a flat surface. The technology for this, called Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display, has been developed in Tokyo.
This technology projects an image of a keyboard and tactile stimuli onto the palm of your hand, which act as visual cues for high-speed interaction. The researchers believe this technology will be fully developed in another few years.
Toys such as the Wii and Xbox Connect are crude imitations of the gesture-based computing Tom Cruise uses in Minority Report. Yet a number of Minority Report’s other predictions have been realised, including self-driving cars, facial recognition software and personalised ads.
The gesture-based computing has yet to be perfected, but we might find that motion-based computing has replaced remote controls as the way we operate our TVs in the future.
The presence of HAL 9000, the infamous AI villain of 2001: A Space Odyssey, can be felt in Siri, Alexa, and OK Google. The film also predicts space tourism, which may never happen, but is slowly being developed. These eight companies are in the process of making commercial space travel a reality.
Do you remember the chase scene on Endor? No? Well, hoverbikes like the one used by Luke and Leia have been developed by Russian drone manufacturer Hoversurf, and their Star Wars inspired style caused great excitement. The bikes can reach heights of five metres and have a top speed of 70kmph.