There used to be a time when one used to watch Science Fiction (Sci-Fi) movies and exclaim “Wow. I wish something like that existed!” Even though Spock or the whole of Star Wars nor Hogwarts didn’t become a reality (just yet) but over time there have been a number of inventions that people saw first as part of a Science Fiction movie while later on they actually saw the same in reality!
Today, we are going to talk about things that came to Science Fiction first and then became a reality. So here is Science Fiction to Reality over the years!
- The Internet
- The iPad / Tablets
We expect most people to know about this one! The famous “newspad” reference in Arthur C. Clarke’s “2001 – Space Odyssey” (1968) that Stanley Kubrick later took to the big screen.
Here is a reference line from the same:
“When he tired of official reports and memoranda and minutes, he would plug his foolscap-sized Newspad into the ship’s information circuit and scan the latest reports from Earth. One by one he would conjure up the world’s major electronic papers.”
- The Mobile Phone
Considered the father of science fiction, 19th-century author Julies Verne was an inspiration to the pioneers of undersea travel when his 1870 novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” gave the world Captain Nemo’s Nautilus and a glimpse at what submarines could be.
Primitive hand-cranked submarines had been created — and even used in war — before Verne’s novel was published, but it was his vision that spurred innovation of the modern, mechanical sub.
The Nautilus, about 230 feet long and powered by electricity generated using the sodium in ocean water, was more akin to today’s submarines than to the small human-powered ships of Verne’s time. It also had a galley kitchen, a library and a pipe organ.
- The Computer Virus
- Virtual Reality
Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008) was a true visionary. In his book “The City and the Stars” (published in 1956) the author makes reference to virtual reality.
The “Encyclopedia Britannica” defines virtual reality as “the use of computer modeling and simulation that enables a person to interact with an artificial three-dimensional (3-D) visual or other sensory environment.” (Sic) The term itself was first spread by computer scientist Jaron Lanier, in 1987.
- Minaturized Surgery
The world “robot” was first used in 1921 in Czech writer Karel Capek’s play, R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), and comes from the Czech word “robota,” meaning “forced labor,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary.
Parts of the play take place in a factory that makes artificial people. Created to work for humans, the robots eventually rebel, leading to the end of the human race. Isaac Asimov coined the term “robotics,” and his 1942 short story “Runaround” listed the Three Laws of Robotics, Asimov’s rules that robots must obey. In order of priority: Robots must not hurt humans or allow them to be hurt. Robots must obey humans, unless that conflicts with the first law. Robots must protect themselves, unless that interferes with the first or second law. Films such as “Blade Runner,” “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Terminator,” and television shows like “Battlestar Galactica” show what happens when robots break the laws and run amok. It’s usually some combination of chaos and destruction, but so far the most advanced robots — like the latest model from Japan that strolls down the catwalks of the fashion world — have yet to rebel.
The latest one on the blocks is Augmented Reality, which pretty much works like Virtual Reality but it certainly will turn a number of Science Fiction objects or devices into reality. Transparent screen devices being one of them! So we hope to do a similar post with a number of new inventions that would be straight out of a Science Fiction novel in the next decade!