Sliding doors are everything in life. What about a guy who loves Star Trek but hates Star Wars? There are people like that, it's completely normal. What if I told you that it all depends on a trivial flu, which made me miss the premiere with the rest of my class? It would have been my first time in the cinema. That event affected practically my entire relationship with futuristic things and science fiction. And on balance I have to thank him.
Yes, because beyond the respect for all fans of both sagas, it cannot be denied that they are very different. That of Roddenberry has on its side a bit of fantasy less and a bit of technology more. Maybe it's the right mix for me, the one that best represents me. Sure, a lot of Star Trek's "technical talk" is nonsense, but it's no secret that early science fiction still had a big impact on real-world technology. Don't believe it? Here are at least 8 "futuristic" things directly inspired by science fiction.
3D printers - Star Trek
Replicators are the most affordable sci-fi gadget ever invented. They are essentially hyper-advanced 3D printers that can produce anything from a cup of Earl Gray to alien weapons in seconds. Even if the printers 3D aren't quite mainstream yet, Star Trek replicators have been the inspiration and target of many futuristic technologies over the years.
Mobile phones -
Star Trek Dick Tracy
For years Martin cooper, the inventor of cell phones, argued that Star Trek's initial communicator was the source of his famous "brick phone" for Motorola. He lied. Last year, in his autobiography, Cooper revealed that it was actually the wrist radio of Dick Tracy (year 1930) to have inspired him to create the mobile phone. And if you also consider the look of modern smartwatches, you may realize that Tracy made a pretty good combo.
Hoverboard: Back to the Future
In 2014, Arx Pax released the Hendo Hoverboard, which is still in development today. I think even the most skilled champion would have a hard time looking cool about it. Look at Tony Hawk in the video, with all due respect he looks like a sloth. Yet we're still eager to see the first person do a 360-degree kickflip on one of these, even without being chased by Biff.
Hoverbike - Star Wars
Some friends (who have seen it) tell me that The Last Jedi's futuristic hoverbikes won't transport you through the forest of Endor as fast as the ones from Return of the Jedi. And the real ones instead? There have been some interesting developments: the Japanese company ALI Technologies recently showed its Xturismo in front of a crowd. Watch out for pre-orders!
Tractor beam - Star Trek
For years, tractor beams have been a staple of science fiction. Real world versions currently try to operate on a smaller scale. Various methods have been tried using sound and light waves to pull and push tiny nanoparticles. Currently, NASA and Arx Pax (also those of the Hoverboard) are working on a tractor beam powered by the magnetism.
Tablet - Star Trek
Come on, you all know this story, I'm sure. When Apple introduced the iPad in 2010, it did so with a Star Trek movie playing on the device. A tribute to the contraption that Picard and his companions used on the Enterprise. It was basically the iPad, even the name (PADD) was similar.
Invisibility Cloak - Predator
The film Predator (1987) is the earliest known example of invisibility technology in science fiction. It was among the futuristic technologies employed by the monster that Arnold Schwarzenegger had to face. It is not surprising that one of the world's leading companies working on this technology, hyperstealth, has a rather military site. Fortunately, there are also more "civil" alternatives, and decidedly cheaper (I talked about it here).
MP3 - Star Trek
Among the futuristic innovations this is perhaps the one that is already about to be put in the attic. The MP3 format was invented by Karlheinz Brandenburg, but he is also the son of Star Trek: The Next Generation. In fact, the inventor himself cited the scene I showed you as a source of inspiration for his digital audio format. Thank you, Mr. Data.