Or, all the futuristic stuff I’ve always dreamed of owning!
And who hasn’t dreamed of owning items we’ve seen in a movie, or on TV. I remember my friend, Linda, and I desperately wanting to join the Enterprise so we could each have a phaser, not realising till much later on, that this meant we might end up being an Infamous Red Shirt — usually the first characters to get shot at or die a grisly death in nearly every episode of Trek! But it didn’t stop us dreaming or pretending our bananas at lunchtime were our communicators. Flipping them open, and then, talking to them.
No wonder I was considered a weird kid at school.
It didn’t stop with Trek, I lusted after the tech in most SF TV shows I watched over the years. From light sabres to magnetic boots, to the TARDIS and Firefly’s ‘Serenity’. I wanted it all and, when I found out I needed H. G. Wells’ Time Machine to travel into the future, I started creating my own fictitious hardware and tech by writing it into existence.
Funny thing is, these days technology is catching up fast. There was a time when I dreamed of a Dick Tracey watch, and now, I owe an Apple iWatch. Like the flip phone inspired by Star Trek, and the diagnostic beds now in existence, to a version of the tricorder being used on the ISSN — The Lab-On-a-Chip Application Development Portable Test System (LOCAD-PTS) is used by astronauts and is designed specifically to biochemical molecules with the purpose of “identifying microbes on space station services” through use of the Gram Staining Method.
We even have a sort of hover bike now on sale based on drone tech, but scaled up considerably. Hover boards are not that far away! Let’s just hope that sentient Toasters (a.k.a. the Cylons) are way off in the distant future. I also wonder when we’ll get memory crystals, or crystal storage technology? Maybe that’s not so far off as I think, but whatever the tech, we know that science fiction can inspire real-life technologies and, if we live long enough, might, indeed, be witness to some incredible breakthroughs in the decades to come.
Meanwhile, if you are interested in checking out an almost complete listing of future tech featured in SFF books going back to 1899, check out the Glossary of SF Ideas, Technology and Inventions. Which, I might add, is an amazing resource—never assume you came up with the idea first, you’ll probably find out H. G. Wells, Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, Herbert or Niven beat you to it.