Science fiction movies have become a predictor of what technology will look like in the future. Who didn’t feel like they were apart of the Star Trek Enterprise when flip phone became the norm in the 90s? There are whole-body scanning units like those in the movie “Total Recall” at most airports. Have you noticed that just about all devices use touch-screen like in those in “Minority Report?” Many films are taking notes from the technologies and prototypes that scientist, researchers and futurist have dreamed up. Let’s take a look at four futuristic technologies that are now reality.
It all began in 1982 on the television show “Knight Rider” with a car named K.I.T.T. This car was the freshest thing since sliced bread. K.I.T.T could talk, give advice and come to the rescue of his beloved owner Michael Knight played by David Hasselhoff. Then in 1989, the movie “Batman” set the stage again with the creation of the Batmobile. It’s amazing to see how these technologies are playing huge roles today. The Google Driverless Car project is well underway in California and Nevada as a test model of cars everyone can have. It also serves as a mapping device. Who knows how Google will use the technology in the future as a marketing tool.
Targeted Advertising as seen in “Minority Report” is coming to a store near you. In the movie, an eye scan determined the race, age and gender of a customer who was then blasted with targeted ads. The UK retailer Tesco announced last year that it will install targeted technology, which uses hi-tech screens to scan customer’s faces at petrol stations. The technology is called OptimEyes, and will scan the eyes of people to determine their age and gender, which will then determine the ads they see. The company expects to reach a weekly audience of five million adults.
Also, in the movie “Minority Report,” we see Tom Cruise simply wave his hand around to flick through images on 3-D computer display. Already companies like PointGrab have developed software that can accurately and reliably track hand movements up to 5 meters away. Their technology will be primarily targeted to PCs, televisions and mobile devices. G-Speak technology is also currently underdevelopment by John Underkoffler’s company Oblong and has been demonstrated at one of many TED conferences.
Do you remember Dolly? She was the world’s first cloned animal. In the movie “The 6th Day” Arnold Schwarzenegger had a daughter whose dog had died. In the film they were able to take the poor beast to a clinic to be cloned but to his surprise, Schwarzenegger finds out that he too had been cloned when he runs in to a copy of himself. So far the only cloning practices in use now are: DNA cloning, Reproductive cloning and Therapeutic cloning used to harvest stem cells. BioBank materials are also used to produce commercial products through cloning.
The brilliant devices in sci-fi movies are a part of the joy in watching them. It’s cool to imagine how these things could exist in our world. Many of science fiction’s gadgets have come to be a reality. And as technology makes more progress, more will be revealed.