Skip to comments.5 Top Sci-Fi Gadgets That Actually Exist
Posted on 02/04/2014 9:33:47 AM PST by Heartlander
Science Fiction, meet Reality. Reality, Science Fiction
Nowadays, the line between science fiction and reality has become almost microscopically thin, our newfound abundance of resources and knowledge having led to the creation of some truly dazzling gizmos and gadgets. So heres a list of the top five most amazing sci-fi gadgets weve come up with that wont lead to super-smart killer robots, because I spend, way, way too much time on those. (Although I wouldnt if inventors didnt seem to think were going for a Terminator-inspired and not a Star Trek/Wars-inspired future, but were already getting off track).
First in line, we have:
5. The Sigmo:
Whats that little square do, you ask? That, dear friends, is realitys first Universal Translator, inspired by the Star Trek gadget that allowed the shows creators to neatly explain why all alien races spoke and understood English. Simply put, the Sigmo uses a Bluetooth connection with your smartphone to translate your words into over 25 languages. Just speak into the square, and it will record your voice, send it up into the cloud (where a service like Google Translate will translate your words), and then play that translation only seconds later. While it wont translate any alien languages, its a good first step. It also only costs 50 bucks, making it my favorite kind of gadget: useful, easy to use, and cheap. You can figure out how to buy it here.
4. Scanadus Scout :
This years CES convention revealed yet other Star Trek-inspired devices: Scanadus medical scanner, the Scout. Based on Star Treks medical tricorderthat little box thing Bones is always waving around people that lets him know theyre pretty much dyingthe Scout was developed as a sophisticated sensor thats capable of measuring our vital signs. If you hold it up to your temple for ten seconds, the Scout reads and records your health statistics and sends the data to your smartphone, where you can do whatever you like with it. You cant buy this yet, as it still has to be field-tested and FDA-approved, but its pretty cool. Lets hope its field test in March is successful; Bones would be so sad without his tricorder.
3. iOptik Smart Contact Lenses:
Ever want to just blink, and have information like driving directions, texts, emails, or videos just appear in front of your eyes? Get ready to be shocked: iOptix smart contact lenses do just that. Honestly, I geeked out over these things immediately. They use rings in order to route light in different ways on your retinas, which allows wearers to focus on near and far away visuals in a manner the normal human eye just isnt capable of. The system was shown off at this years CES show in Vegas, and requires a secondary pair of glasses to work, but just the mere fact that they were invented is mind-blowing to me. Texts by blinking, guys. Texts by blinking.
2. MC10 Biostamp:
MC10 is one of those companies that came out of nowhere with a dramatically life-changing idea: their Biostamp is a stretchable electronic thats stuck on your skin, developed to measure biopotential such as ECG, EEG, and EMG, as well as strain and body temperature. It sits neatly on the skin and uploads its data to your smartphoneor it will, once it becomes functional. It reminds me of thebarcode tattoos in this childrens book set in 2025, where everyones information is stored on this unobtrusive barcode on their arms. The Biostamp is designed to measure ones health, but the tech could be developed for other uses. Its still a prototype at this point, but MC1O is working hard to make it a reality. Hopefully it will be one before 2025; 11 years is a long time to wait.
1.Katia Vegas Makeup:
Yep, eyelashes. Not the #1 gadget you were expecting, was it? Those are the eyelashes Katie Vega invented as part of her Beauty Technology Projectwhich can activate a whole slew of electronic devices through the power of blinking.
Thats right, somebody invented eyelashes that can control your tech. Thats better sci-fi than sci-fi. Be impressed. Not only that, but Katia Vega also created conductive eye makeup, nails embedded with RFID tags, and Winkymote, an infrared remote control for quadriplegics hidden in makeup, which they can use to control TVs and other tasks. Be more impressed. If you want to learn about some of Vegas other projectswhich you shouldyou can visit her website here.
There you have itfive gadgets weve invented this year that give me hope I will eventually become a space pirate, instead of a human rebel fighting for humanity against the machines.
We take it utterly for granted now, but the smartphone was very much SF only a few years back.
Little bit Mark of the Beastish, isn’t it?
Part of me says who would wear that on their forehead? But I already know...
And what's on your smartphone is available to the government (if they don't have it already).
I’m wanting me some Phasers.
I was thinking about Dick Tracy’s two way wrist radio/TV of years ago.
Little bit? That's an understatement of the day.
"Just what ya see here, buddy!"
I’m waiting for the phaser...
Google is developing...and already has a prototype...contact lenses that monitor and report blood glucose levels in real time. This could be a real boon to diabetics worldwide.
And pretty much put most of the companies who sell testing strips and meters out of business.
A green animal-woman would be nice, too...
Have you ever noticed that there is no wifi in the Star Trek universe?
Especially in TOS and even in TNG, Kirk and Picard were always getting electronic clipboards handed to them by comely Ensigns awaiting their signatures.
Why can't these forms and communiques be sent over electronically?
As do doors that automatically pop open as you approach.
I had to explain to my daughters that this was unavailable at the time, and they had to have a crew member push a button as the actor approached. There are out-takes on YOutube where the timing gets off and Spock walks right into the door.
We’ve got it, in every detail. Except it’s in the phone, not the watch.
It was probably a naval thing.
Battlestar Galactica (The new one) had wireless, too. But Adama and the rest still had to sign things for work requests, shipping details, etc.
Where’s my flying car.
Because then all the comely Ensigns would be out of a job. Can't have that, don't want that :)
And less than 10 years later, they existed. I remember doors that opened for me as a kid - and that would have been early-to-mid-1970s.
Google just bought these guys.
I think that is electronic sending, computer to pad, pad to captain, captain signs, pad tells computer, signature stored. I suppose he could have done a thumb swipe somewhere, but then there’d be no reason for yeomen Rand to exist, I prefer a world with yeoman Rand.
One of the apocryphal tales from the set is that some tech guy and said that automatic was the hardest Trek gadget to accomplish in the real world. Heard that tale in multiple interviews with cast members but never any real proof, it’s funny of course because it was the first one that made the jump.
Not grounded for lack of technology, but the more human issue of air traffic control, or, more to the point, do you want to morons who can't manage two dimensions properly getting to play around with a third?
One of the plot twists of the new Battlestar Galactica was that it was getting ready to be retired and had never been integrated into the fleet computer network. That's why it was able to escape and fight back when the rest of the fleet was betrayed by their electronics. I enjoyed that series for a while until it got so depressing I found myself wearing a noose while watching it.
which means i can’t buy one of these now.
flying cars would require flight training and license approval, like any civillian aircraft, as these are much bigger and more damaging than a more simple ultralight. so not just anyone would drive/fly one.
The Biostamp is well-timed, given that we are living in Idiocracy now.
They’re all pretty incredible esp the Sigmo...
...heck for only $50 too, why it’s costs more than that to fill up our gas tank...and that ends up in smoke.
Eeeeeeexcellent point. Missed that one I did. Yup. Right over my head.
The future is here. I hope it doesn’t track mud in.
Still waiting for H. Beam Piper’s perfect lie detector - the veridicator (from “Little Fuzzy”). Would revolutionize criminal prosecution and put most current politicians on the “free agent” list.
They were widely available, just not on the set.
Electric eye is an old-fashioned term for a photodetector, an electronic circuit activated by light. First developed in the 1890s, this concept has been adapted to new devices and technology and is still in use in the 21st century. Common applications include remote controls, automatic doors, and motion detectors. This particular term has gradually faded from use at the end of the 20th century, although it was revived in 2009 to describe advances in artificial sight. ...
... The once-novel electric eye had become a commonplace device by the last third of the 20th century. Familiar uses included automated doors in supermarkets and other public buildings
Sure there was. From TNG onward, crew members always wandered around using those pad devices that looked like iPad Minis. They were wireless interfaces to the central computer.
It was even more low-tech than that, from what I've read. A couple of guys behind the wall just pulled the doors open by hand.
Anyone who would believe that stuff would also believe in horseless carriages and heavier-than-air flight. Ridiculous.