With the recent announcement of Disney’s real lightsaber, it got the team at Stealth Optional thinking. What other sci-fi technology would we love to see in real life? There’s a lot to choose from, but there's some iconic sci-fi tech that still manages to our imaginations following.
Disney's lightsaber replica isn’t literally real. You’re not going to go cutting limbs off any time, but it retracts and lights up. We think that is pretty cool. A lot of the tech we listed here will probably never come to fruition, or it or does, we’ll all likely be long gone.
Regardless of viability, it’s nice to imagine a world filled with sci-fi tech. So let’s list some of the most interesting.
Star Trek Food Replicator
Imagine being able to just replicate any food you wanted to? Fancy a Chinese takeaway? Got a hankering for a Sunday roast? Star Trek’s food replicator did just that. It could pretty replicate absolutely anything. The technology worked by using a bank of different atoms and arranging them into the object requested by the users. It had its limitations, such as not being able to use materials like Latinum.
Such a food replicator, while not technically impossible, is unlikely to exist. It requires a level of understanding and control over atoms that we do not currently have. However, there are numerous experiments around molecular manipulation, so it may happen one day. Although, it certainly won’t be anytime soon.
Blade Runner Enhance
The classic Esper scene in Blade Runner shows Rick Deckard examining a room through a photo as if he were there. Using a PC with a super powerful three-dimensional resolution capacity, Deckard is able to zoom in to the photo without ever losing quality. Being able to take such high-quality images with a PC that can render so easily still seems pretty futuristic these days. While our cameras have certainly gotten better, there are still limitations on how much detail we can capture within one image.
However, AI scaling is getting better. Nvidia’s DLSS technology does a fantastic job of taking lower resolution images and upscaling them to 4k. As it continues developing, we could see similar technology implemented in image viewing.
Dark Matter Engines
Numerous shows and movies have incorporated dark matter engines into their lore, but Futurama has the best by far. In order to exceed the speed of light - which you definitely need to do if you want to travel in space - Professor Farnsworth dark matter engine simply moves space around the ship. Simply is definitely the wrong adverb, but having access to such technology would make spaceflight much easier.
We certainly won’t be moving space around ourselves anytime soon, but scientists have theorised that this kind of space travel could be possible. A team of physicists proposed a method of space travel that would bunch up the desired amount of space into something the same length of the ship. This would then allow the ship to hope through space quickly, leaving the bunched up space behind it.
Instant Subliminal Learning
Remember that bit in The Matrix when Neo learned Kung-Fu within seconds thanks to a direct neural link and a special program. Imagine having such an invention in real life. The concept of school and education would be minimised to minutes and hours of instant subliminal learning. We could learn skills and knowledge without the cost of time, and basically enter a new age of information.
A study in 2019 found that our brains are exceptionally efficient at learning while asleep. The study involved German-speaking study participants who slept to an audio record that “presented pairs of pseudowords representing a non-existent foreign language and their translations.” Subjects were unaware of the words played during sleep, and were then tested to see if the audio recording had left any sort of imprint in the brain. Using a specifically designed test, researchers found that the accuracy of those who had listened to the recording was 10% higher. So while it may not be Kung-Fu, this kind of learning could be further researched and developed in the future.
So there you have it, four sci-fi film and TV technologies we would love to see in real life. Are there any you’d like to see?