In case you didn’t know, I’m a guest host on RTM’s TraXXfm every Tuesday to talk about everything tech with resident radio hosts KG and Aush on an hour-long segment called “Tech Tuesdays with Verne.” We geek out on topics like online shopping, the latest mobile phones, gaming gear, and for this week’s 6th edition–technology we’ve seen in movies and on TV that we want to see in the real-world.
For those who missed the live show, here’s a summary of what we talked about earlier today. We were one man short today as Aush was away but KG was certainly in his element. Unsurprisingly, it’s because it’s one of his favourite topics–movies.
I love movies. And my favourite genre is sci-fi. I mean, any sane geek/nerd would and should love sci-fi, right? For decades, we’ve been enthralled by technological gadgetry and futuristic wizardry in science fiction films and TV shows.
But is it all fiction? Well.
Scientists and inventors who grew up watching Star Trek and Star Wars were often inspired by these iconic movies.
Look at Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 epic sci-fi film – 2001: A Space Odyssey for example. HAL 9000 gave us a chilling look at the future of super artificial intelligence among other things.
Star Trek and Star Wars gave us space exploration, hyperdrive, light sabers, holograms and teleportation.
For filmmakers, storytellers, and us, the geeky consumers, the future has always been this exciting universe of creative possibilities. We lap up fiction with the hope that in the not too distant future, this buffet of fiction will become a reality.
Do you know for the ground-breaking 2002 movie Minority Report, Steven Spielberg consulted an expert team of futurists including scientists, philosophers, artists and architects?
The movie creatively portrayed and accurately predicted multi-touch interfaces, retina scanners, electronic paper and crime prediction system. Too cool!
Which brings us to this: What sci-fi innovations in movies do we want to see and expect to see in the real-world?
Here’s a list of movies that take on the tech of the future.
What’s not to love about Iron Man and Tony Stark? Multi-billionaire and genius with a laboratory full of crazy cool gear. For one, he has J.A.R.V.I.S — the superintelligent personal assistant and computer system.
Aside from J.A.R.V.I.S’ neurological brilliance, we also love the visual-oriented user interface and holographic elements. No extra gear needed. Just hand gestures.
Of course, let’s not forget the ultimate Stark arsenal — Iron Man’s suit. With each iteration, the suit gets more and more advanced. Mark 42 was it, at last count? No more hiding under plain clothes. It’s now all nano tech. Just call it out and you have an armoured suit!
And wait, there’s more – the heart of Iron Man’s suite – the Arc Reactor. It provides infinite clean energy, and supplies power to well, blow things up.
Total Recall (1990, 2012)
There was plenty of cool tech in both the original 1990 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and the 2012 remake headlined by Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel.
Autonomous cars, implanted memories and a gravity elevator that probably inspired Elon Musk’s Hyperloop.
But none is quite as cool as the communication device that’s embedded in one’s hand. When you place your hand on a transparent or translucent surface like a glass window, it transforms into a display screen.
Back to the Future
Short of possessing Dr. Strange’s Time Stone, man has always wanted the power to time travel. The ability to bend time and space is just too great to pass up.
So, in the case of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we’d need some magic and astrophysics know-how (you’ll also need to wrestle it back from Thanos, though) but perhaps science in the near future can make this happen.
We’ve seen it happen in the Back to Future films too, with Doc, Marty McFly and the iconic DMC DeLorean. Of course with sometimes catastrophic consequences. But hey, imagine having that power to rewind? What if you had the ability to take a peek of what’s ahead in the timeline. Time after all, is non-linear.
The Matrix trilogy
The Matrix trilogy showed us more than just “bullet time.” Set in a dystopian future where man exists only as an energy source for an alien/robot race. And in this world, man’s reality is a mere virtual simulation created by sentient machines. Talk about being plugged in.
What’s cool though that when you’re “plugged in” you can do some pretty amazing non-human things. You’ll also have the ability to upgrade skills and knowledge at touch. Whoa!
I was always intrigued by gigantic mechas, as does KG – whether it’s Gundam or Transformers. And there’s a level of realism and believability in Pacific Rim.
Jaegars are man-made, human controlled gargantuan humanoid mechas designed to fight Godzilla-sized monsters (“kaiju”) emerging from the Pacific Ocean.
Both KG and I were initially skeptical about Elysium starring Matt Damon. However, it turned out to be surprisingly good. And my two favourite pieces of tech from the film were the powered exoskeleton and home medical bay.
The exoskeleton is a powered suit that can give one enhanced abilities – from additional strength, to speed. I can see how this will work in real life. Imagine a paralysed person using a exoskeleton like an extension of his real physical body.
Next up, the home med bay that can instantly cure cancer, repair the body. The world need this!
There’s an unbelievable amount of tech in the Star Wars films that it’s almost hard to pinpoint a favourite. We’re talking light sabers, hover cars, laser beams, snow speeders, TIE- and X-Wing fighters, holographic interfaces, and the Millennium Falcon. Top that.
But perhaps one crucial element in all space-travel-type narratives is this: hyperdrive. Hyperdrive or sometimes called warp drive is the ability to travel faster than the speed of light, enabling a spacecraft to cross space through alternate dimensions. Definitely beats stuck in LDP traffic.
Ghost in the Shell
In the live action interpretation of the Japanese manga by Masamune Shirow, the “shell” is an artificial body with cybernetic improvements such as vision, strength and intelligence. Who wouldn’t want to be a cyborg supersoldier right?
The other thing that’s awesome is the shell’s cloaking ability. This thermoptic camouflage uses heat and light inputs to mimic changing surroundings. Think chameleon, only much hotter and with martial art skills! Hahah.
Perhaps somewhat of a similar concept to Ghost in the Shell is Netflix’s sci-fi TV series Altered Carbon.
Set in the year 2384, people can upload their consciousness into a new “sleeve” or body. Your personality, memories and abilities are saved on a cortical stack that’s located on the back of the neck.
You can hypothetically be re-sleeved forever but once the stack is destroyed then you’re really dead.
One human step to immortality.
All I can say is “Beam me up, Scotty!” OK, so as KG pointed out, that catchphrase was never muttered in the iconic sci-fi series.
But the point is, there’s one important piece of ultimate tech: teleportation. To be able to travel to some place distant in an instant. Heck, count me in.
Just don’t end up like Jeff Goldblum in the horror sci-fi flick – The Fly.
What’s your favourite Sci-Fi tech that you want to see in real-life?
KG: Embedded weapons!
Verne: Time travel!
In summary, some of these sci-fi tech aren’t too far-fetched. If you can think it and dream it, they will become reality soon enough.
So, that’s a wrap! I absolutely loved covering this topic today. Hope you guys had fun too!
Got a topic you’d like us to cover? DM, PM or tweet us!