Science fiction often becomes science fact. There are countless examples of science fiction writers predicting what would come true in the future. Some even managed to successfully guess what things would be like 100 years in the future. It’s mostly coincidence, but inventors and scientists are always working to make the things we see in science fiction movies and TV shows come to life. Although, some things are likely never going to come true.
Time travel is probably impossible and cloning a dinosaur is likely never going to happen, no matter how advanced science techniques become. Some things have come true, and more fictional things will become fact given enough time. Here’s a look at ten things from science fiction movies, TV Shows and books that have come true. What things from science fiction would you like to see come true?
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10 2020 Tokyo Olympics from Akira
Sports fans rejoiced when Tokyo was announced as the host of the 2020 Olympic games, but if you’re a manga fan, Tokyo being the host city for the 2020 summer games shouldn’t have come as much of a shock to you, as it was predicted by Akira.
The groundbreaking manga series, and the anime film on which it was based, is set in 2019 in Neo-Tokyo. The film depicts a future much bleaker than what Tokyo is like today, but one similarity between the manga and the real world is that the 2020 Olympics are right around the corner. The series’ creators were a bit off on the math though. In the film the Neo-Tokyo Olympics are listed as the 30th games, but the games will actually be the 32nd games.
9 Crime-Riddled Detroit From Robocop
Robocop was a game changer in the word of science fiction. The movie was cutting edge, ultra-violent and deeply satirical. Its comments on corporate greed and crime made it a hugely successful film, and many people to this day still quote the famous line: “I’d buy that for a dollar.” Perhaps the screenwriters, Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner, had a crystal ball because the pair correctly depicted the downfall of Detroit.
Sure, the city had already lost some of its luster from when it was an auto giant in the 50s, but even when Robocop was made in 1987, Detroit hadn’t become the cesspool it is today. The bleak future Detroit in Robocop actually looks good in comparison to the way the city is today.
8 3D printers From Star Trek
Plenty of gadgets from numerous classic Star Trek series have become a reality. The famous holodeck mirrors are a virtual reality today - albeit far more advanced. One of the most interesting pieces of tech seen in Star Trek that is recently making headlines in real life is 3D printing.
Replicators first appeared In Star Trek: The Next Generation, and in many ways they are similar to the 3D printers we have today. 3D printers are more primitive than the Star Trek replicators, but apparently Nestle is working on a device that could create food much like the Star Trek replicators were known to do.
7 In Air Touch Screen Technology From Minority Report
Admit it, when you saw Tom Cruise move virtual objects in the movie Minority Report with just a swipe of his hand, you thought it was very cool. This technology appeared in the excellent Steven Spielberg sci-fi film starring Tom Cruise. Minority Report was based on the Philip K. Dick short story called The Minority Report. This tech also showed up in other movies like Iron Man.
Today it is becoming a reality with leap and bounds being made in user interface. John Underkoffler, who was Minority Report’s science adviser, demonstrated the potential of this technology during a TED talk in 2010. Xerox, Microsoft and Apple have all created tech that uses motion to control a computer interface.
6 Debit Cards From Looking Backward
All the way back in 1887, Edward Bellamy predicted what things would be like today. In his Utopian science fiction novel Looking Backward, he described a future where it was no longer necessary to use cold hard cash to make consumer purchases. Instead, everything was on a card.
Today, the majority of consumers around the world use debit cards or credit cards as their primary method of paying for things they want to buy. Perhaps things will be like I, Robot in the future where it’s just a chip in a person’s hand that is used to make purchases. It seems to be going that way.
5 Video Chat From 2001: A Space Odyssey
Today we regularly use video chat services such as Skype or Facebook Messenger to communicate with family and friends. In Stanley Kubrick’s groundbreaking science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey, astronauts use video chat technology to communicate with family members back on earth.
This was one of the first times this sort of thing was seen on the big screen. The movie, which was written by Arthur C. Clark and loosely based on a short story of his called The Sentinel, featured a creepy and murderous artificial intelligence hell-bent on destroying any human in its path. Let’s hope that part doesn’t come true.
4 Subliminal And Personalized Advertising From They Live
This cult classic sci-fi horror film featuring the late great Rowdy Roddy Piper showed an alternate reality where society’s upper class were actually aliens in disguise. These beings were using subliminal messaging in advertisements to get the human population to do as they wished.
Subliminal advertising actually exists and even was around long before this 1988 film, but since the film’s release it has become more commonplace, and advertising targeted directly toward a single person is gaining massive ground. This type of targeted adverting is commonplace in our everyday life, whether ads show up when you’re browsing the web, scrolling through Facebook or when you're watching TV on a streaming service. Targeted advertising was also prominently featured in Minority Report.
3 Food Synthesizers From The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Like Star Trek, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy featured a food synthesizer that would just magically create any food you could possibly desire. The Nutrimatic Drinks Dispenser proved to be a source of comedy for viewers, and it caused disdain to space traveler Arthur Dent, who was played by Martin Freeman in the film adaptation.
This tech was featured in both the book series and the movie. While this technology isn’t commonplace, there are advancements being made in the field. NASA is hard at work developing a 3D food printer to be used on space missions. The movie featured a machine that would read your mind and make whatever food you were craving. That part is probably much further away from being a reality.
2 Robot Maids From The Jetsons
Who would think a silly Hanna-Barbera cartoon about a family in space could predict so much about what kind of technology we would see in the future. While we don’t all have flying cars or work a mere two hours a week, many of us have some sort of robotics in our home.
It’s nothing like Rosie, the robot in The Jetsons, but robot vacuum cleaners are common. The Apple watch and other smart watches are also something The Jetsons predicted all the way back in the 1960s. Even things as mundane as a talking alarm clock were futuristic when The Jetsons first appeared on TV.
1 CCTV from 1984
Our world hasn’t turned into the bleak dystopian future where our every move is monitored like in George Orwell’s famous science fiction book, 1984. However, maybe one day it will. This 1949 book predicted telescreens everywhere monitoring a person’s every move and looking for the first sign of something or someone being out of order.
Today, security cameras are common place and we are heavily monitored. Cities like London have so many CCTV cameras you can barely walk around anywhere without being caught on one. Things certainly haven’t reached the scale of the novel, but will they sooner or later?
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