The sci-fi genre usually depicts humanity in one of two ways. Either it highlights a thriving utopia of galactic peace, exploration, and the absolute best of humankind or, the more common viewpoint, a horrible dystopia where the human race is barely hanging on for survival. While the genre – usually – pivots in one of these two directions, one thing always remains constant across films, television, and books: cool technology.
Dreaming of technology that doesn’t exist dates all the way back to ancient mythology when the crafter Daedalus supposedly created automatons that were said to have walked or even danced across palaces. A dancing automaton wouldn’t spark as much awe and wonder now as it did 2000 years ago, but new technologies have emerged in popular culture that still managed to give us the same sense of wonder, and Reddit wishes they were real!
Jarvis (Iron Man)
MARVEL Studio’s Iron Man (2008) is a character rooted in sci-fi and cool technologies from the suit itself to the witty AI that runs Tony Stark’s entire home. JARVIS which stands for “Just a Really Very Intelligent System”. In the comics, Iron Man’s Jarvis is a real person, but when Jon Favreau came on to direct the first major blockbuster of the MCU, he changed him to an AI
A sentiment that ImNotLudi on Reddit agrees with is, “Definitely JARVIS Having an AI that is literally capable of complex interaction would be next level.” The funny thing is, nowadays having a virtual assistant in homes doesn’t seem as much like science fiction as it does science fact anymore. Just don’t expect any JARVIS level communication from a Google Home.
Psychic Paper (Dr Who)
The longtime BBC series Doctor Who you have given the world countless fantasies and technologies that are likely never going to see the light of the real world. But there are some that, however fantastical as they may seem, could be brought to fruition in the future. The Doctor’s Psychic Paper is one of those inventions.
User OctarineRacingStripe on Reddit agrees that a thing like this in the real world could be a game-changer, “The Doctor’s psychic paper. A piece of paper that looks like what you want. Usually, whatever official document is most likely to convey authority over whoever looks at it. Just don’t try convincing anyone you’re a responsible adult.” Tech companies are currently developing flexible screens, but don’t expect Doctor Who level paper anytime soon.
Replicator (Star Trek)
There’s something about instant gratification that appears to be a common thread throughout sci-fi technologies and nothing is more instant than a Replicator. Coined in star trekthis machine reconstructs matter into whatever the operator requires, but it usually takes the form of food.
Yes, being able to essentially 3D print a meal is a cool idea but Redditor RustyCutlass sees a more humanitarian use for the technology, “The Replicator from Star Trek. Whatever you want comes out, garbage goes in! No waste, no problem. Everyone is fed. Clothed.” Goodbye world hunger, hello Versace for everyone!
Faster Than Light Drive (FTL Drive)
The world could have all the psychic paper and replicators it wants, but none of it matters if the possibility of visiting other planets is off the table. imagine star trek, but the final frontier ended at Pluto. The ability to explore space is highly dependent on humanity’s ability to break the light-speed barrier.
A fact that doesn’t deter Redditors Iarwain_ben_Adar and Legion2024, “Hell yeah, this is where it is at.” Unfortunately, scientifically, physics limits the speed humans can travel to only 99.9% of light speed, but NASA and SpaceX are not even close to that yet.
Bacta Tanks (Star Wars)
Bacta Tanks have been seen across the starwars movies with Darth Vader using on in the original trilogy, but they were more prominently highlighted in the starwars spin off The Book of Boba Fett. Think of them as a sensory deprivation chamber that can completely heal its user from almost any injury or ailment.
Redditor Salvidor_Deli offers up the suggestion of “Bacta Tanks” and it’s hard to argue with the real-world quality of life improvements such an invention could provide. A similar technology was used in Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium (2013), but that version didn’t require the user to be fully submerged in liquid.
Here one moment and there the next. The ability to teleport is a trope that almost every sci-fi iteration includes in some capacity. This technology could soon be viewed as Science Fact considering there are teams of scientists working on making teleporters a reality. Sadly, those inventions merely produce a copy of the original matter, so don’t go jumping into one just yet.
Teleportation comes with a laundry list of real-world problems that pop culture doesn’t tend to address, a point that TNerdy brings up in one particular thread, “Imagine teleporting into someone because you miscalculated.” Maybe it’s a good idea to wait for all the kinks to be worked out of this invention before it makes its way to the public market.
Cortical Stacks (Altered Carbon)
Death is always a touchy subject for most. Finding a cure for death or the fountain of youth has been a topic of discussion since storytelling began. Most of the stories told have been about making oneself young again, but it wasn’t until Netflix’s Altered Carbon that people began to wonder, “What if we could just download ourselves?”
User Scottrix on Reddit has a similar thought, “Cortical stacks from Altered Carbon. Being able to resleeve in another body would be really fun.” Downloading consciousness to a computer may not be a thing of science fiction for long if Neural Link is any indicator. While immortality isn’t exactly its purpose, if this new technology winds up being successful who knows what kind of other applications could arise.
While it was Tony Stark’s computer in Hombre de Hierro that made everyone geek out over the thought of a Holo Interface, it was Tom Cruise’s 2002 Sci-Fi whodunnit Minority report that gave moviegoers their first look at this remarkable technology. The ability to control a holographic screen with your bare hands, or gloves in the case of MinorityReport, is such a cool concept.
User Gwarrenster on Reddit agrees that this technology would be worth wile, but knows that the world hasn’t really figured it out yet, “The computer interface on Minority Report. There are some that try to mimic it, but they are really reliant on wearable peripherals and having one available that isn’t would be hella-sweet.”
Lightsabers (Star Wars)
Since Star Wars was released in 1977, there have been plenty of people who wish they had a lightsaber. The idea itself is so cool it’s impossible to deny because it’s a sword with an indestructible blade made entirely of energy. An idea that has been copied in pop-culture ever since its conception, but never duplicated.
An easy answer to the question, but as Redditor RevanSal points out, it’s a necessary cliché, “I know its cliché, but even so I’m surprised its not higher up. Lightsaber”. the Jedi as well according to Adwordswizz, “It toasts the bread while you cut it!!” Truly the ultimate sci-fi tool of the Universe.
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