Inspiration comes from anywhere and fortunately for us, the best inventors have been inspired by the best Sci-Fi movies. Today it’s difficult for us to imagine life without some tech inventions that didn’t exist 50 years ago. Here are the top five gizmos first inspired by movies.
The Cell Phone:
We’ve all been out and felt the panic when we realize our cell phones aren’t at hand, we barely remember it but there was a time where there were no cell phones. The first appearance of a mobile communication device hit the screen in 1964 during Star Trek “The Cage”. The device in the popular Sci-Fi series was called the “Communicator” and resembled the flip phones we all carried in the early 2000’s. The first flip phone, the StarTac created by Motorola was the first big improvement in the cell phone industry. Motorola’s head of research and design, Martin Cooper stated that the objective of the StarTac phone was to create a similar phone design to the communicators on Star Trek.
Driverless cars have been on the silver screen for what may seem like forever; in fact, engineering on driverless cars began in the 1920’s. Throughout the decades, technologists have honed and now near perfected the art of a driverless car. The most iconic self-driving car in the movie industry is Total Recall “the Johnny Cab” released in 1990. In 2009, Google started development on a reliable and fully automated driverless car and in 2015; the first driverless car hit the public streets. The project has recently been transitioned to Alphabet, a parent company of Google who plan on making driverless cars available to the public in 2020. Good-bye DUI’s!
Video games have come a long way, from a little man jumping barrels made from blocks, to almost photographic quality gaming. The dream is to make video gaming as real for the gamer as possible and thanks to the devices in Star Trek: Next Generation’s the Holodeck in 1987 and The Matrix’s server in 1999 with their virtual reality technologies, the Oculus Rift headset and Project Morpheus were inspired and then created. These headsets have a stereoscopic 3D screen that tracks the wearers’ movements and adjusts the screen’s image accordingly allowing the wearer to enter into a virtual reality.
The Hover Board:
Who didn’t feel envy after watching Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) on his hover board in Back to the Future II? The movie was set in 2015 where hoverboards are an everyday commercial product, and they weren’t far off in this prediction. In 2013, Hendo released their first hoverboard prototype and their products have since become better. The technology for the Hendo Hover relies on Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA™) coined by Hendo’s Greg Henderson, the genius behind the Hendo Hover. This efficient method of emitting electromagnetic energy is what gives the hover board it’s ‘hover’, producing a magnetic field that opposes the surfaces below. The Hendo Hover will set you back $10 000 and the battery life lasts only 7 minutes. Hendo, however, are looking into making their products more affordable to the public with their next prototype.
What’s worse than having a doctor tell you that they need to go in to have a little look because they don’t know what the problem is? Fortunately, this conversation will soon be a thing of the past. A hospital in Great Britain has invented the Diagnostic Bed Inspired by the device in Star Trek: The Original Series 1966, the “Tricorder” held by Dr, McCoy (played by DeForest Kelley). This allows doctors to identify anything from stomach viruses to cancer without any intrusive measures. The technology used in the diagnostic bed is a state-of-the-art imaging system that uses sight, smells and sounds to make the diagnosis.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.
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