Sci-Fi’s Crystal Ball


The dividing line between Science Fiction and Science Fact is becoming increasingly blurred.  Technology is now progressing at a truly breakneck speed and many of the gadgets only previously seen in Sci-Fi movies are turning in today’s electrical stores. So, should we be surprised to find a ‘Cloaking Device’ sitting on the shelf when we are looking for an External hard drive?

It all makes you wonder if some writers and film-makers have the uncanny ability to see into the future…

• Communicators

‘Beam me up, Scotty!’
The original 1960s TV series of, ‘Star Trek’ may now look a little dated, but its scriptwriters were light years ahead of the times…  
Think about it; the ‘communicator’ which was used by each member of the Enterprise, is a dead ringer for the flip-style mobile phone of today!

• CCTV Cameras

Whether or not there is a hidden agenda behind our legions of Closed Circuit Television systems still remains to be seen, but George Orwell certainly had his own opinions…
His novel, ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ was written in 1949, yet it featured a world that was littered in CCTV cameras (or ‘Telescreens’) just like ours is today.  

‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ even featured a ‘National Lottery’ (complete with certain players who were convinced they had invented a sure-fire way of winning)!  Spooky.
Let’s just hope that George Orwell was wrong about everything else.  I really do hope he was!

• Video Phones

If you’ve ever seen‘2001: A Space Odyssey ‘, then you will probably remember one of the main characters making a ‘video phone call’ to his Earth-based daughter.  

Considering that Arthur C. Clarke wrote about this back in 1968, his Video Phone was pretty prophetic stuff.  But this was not the first time for a video call to have been featured in a movie…  Director Fritz Lang had used exactly the same visual communication device in, ‘Metropolis’; and that had been in 1927!!!

Video phones have also appeared in numerous other Sci-Fi movies (such as ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Space: 1999′ and ‘Total Recall’) over the years.  And all of these were years ahead of the real thing…

• Flying Saucers

Okay, so our twenty-first century skies may not be buzzing with disc-shaped crafts, but they have been created on an experimental level.
Any UFO buff will be fully aware that the US military have created several of their own real-life ‘flying saucers’ over the years.

• Clones

There have been clones in Sci-Fi stories for as long as the genre has existed.  They will normally be portrayed in a rather negative light (think, ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’) and we are taught that doppelgangers are something to fear.  

‘Brave New World’ is a fine example of genetic engineering/scientifically-created clones… and that was penned by Aldous Huxley way back in 1932!  

And when you stop to consider what is happening in the world of science today, Huxley’s vision may not be so far away from Science Fact…

• The Shape of Things to Come…

So, what other amazing gadgets can we look forward to seeing in the not-so-distant years ahead?

Well, there was that super-cool holographic chess game in ‘Star Wars’, the mighty ‘Power Loader’ exo-forklift suit in ‘Aliens’ , the famous ‘Star Trek’ teleporter and, of course, the much used ‘Flying Car’!  
These may all sound a little far-fetched. but could they actually become a reality within the next few years?

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