The Future is Coming: Five Sci-fi Technologies You Wouldn’t Think Existed

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Illustration by Matt Dean-Hall
Illustration by Matt Dean-Hall

Jetpacks, flying cars, holograms, and robots are all things that we never thought would exist as widely used models, but the technology for each one of these futuristic items is present right at this moment.

Technology is advancing at an alarming rate, and it is extremely difficult to predict exactly what is going to come in the future. Devices that we would have never even imagined 100 years ago are being used by everyone today. The world is in perpetual change, and technology is certainly not at its peak in 2012; there is definitely more to come as time progresses.

Predicted technology is fascinating to most people. Ideas such as human teleportation and time travel may never exist, but still pique people’s interests. Five technologies you probably never thought existed are:

1. The flying car: The flying car is portrayed in all kinds of media. The usefulness of it, though, can definitely be debated. This particular technology is merely a flashy and “cool” idea. Although the flying cars that exist today aren’t the same hovercars that appear in shows like Futurama, they are still cool and futuristic machines. A car that can drive on the road, then lift off into the sky could be made useful in obscure ways, and, surprisingly, already exist.

2. The Jetpack: Another technology that made its way from science fiction novels to the real world is the jetpack; a backpack with rocket boosters that allows the wearer to fly. The jetpack functions by allowing gases or liquid to escape from its boosters to propel the person upwards. Functioning models of this futuristic machine have been introduced as early as 2004 and have only been upgraded since then. The idea of the jetpack originated sometime before 1928, and is now, more than 80 years later, widely used, functioning, and available for sale.

3. The bionic contact lens: In 2011 a prototype of a bionic contact lens was finally created. The main function of this contact lens is to create a virtual display for the eye. A display similar to the vision of a robot seen in media today. The display could potentially read things like body heat, or temperature merely using your eyesight. This technology is still in development, but could potentially exist as a marketed item with multiple features in years to come.

4. The robot: The term robot covers a variety of things, from industrial machines that complete simple and repetitive tasks to TOPIO, a humanoid robot who can do many human tasks, including playing ping-pong. Robots have the potential to do amazing things, and should be further researched and developed. Robots are a technology that came and developed a lot faster than expected.

5. The 3D printer: A personal favorite of mine, the 3D printer is a technology that emerged in the 1980s. The idea of a 3D printer is a machine that can produce solid objects from a digital model. Wouldn’t it be a cool idea to be able to hit ctrl+p and have the lid to your toothpaste that you dropped in the toilet be created before your eyes, any file that has been created can be printed, this is a breakthrough in many different planes of human life. It can be used in business production, art, and even household use. This item can be predicted to become very widely used.