Amazing Sci-Fi Stuff Come to Life

  • Sci-Fi and Scientists

    Even if you’re not a science fiction geek, this beloved genre of movies and books doesn’t have to remain fiction and could even eventually make life easier. In fact, a number of brilliant ideas that once seemed futuristic have already come to life. We may not be able to materialize the perfect meal with the push of a button like in Star Trek, but here are a few amazing inventions birthed from the realm of science fiction. Photo Credit: Catherinette Rings Steampunk
    The Jet Pack
  • The Jet Pack

    Humans fascinated by jetpacks worn by James Bond and Buck Rogers no longer have to rely on films, comic books and dreams for a way to fly for more than a measly minute. An actual jetpack, from inventor Glenn Martin, does exist, according to The New York Times. It may be bulky and noisy, but it appears to work. If you’re interested in getting your hands on one of the jetpacks, you’ll have to wait until late 2010 when the company begins selling to individuals. Photo Credit: martinjetpack.com
    Aliens Powerloader
  • Aliens Powerloader

    Fans of the Alien movies will love this one. The “powerloader” machine that Sigourney Weaver climbed into giving her superhuman strength to fight those terrifying H. R. Giger monsters from space is coming to life. Instead of using it to fight, it’s expected to be used in construction, allowing users to easily lift up to 220 pounds. Its designer, Activelink, hopes to have it ready for use by 2015. It’s expected to cost about $329,000, so it may be out of your financial reach, but it’ll be available sooner than you might think. Photo Credit: Activelink
    Cloaking Device
  • Cloaking Device

    Going unnoticed while exploring the world, or even just the home of the girl next door, may be a sci-fi geek’s dream. But beyond the development of some invisibility suits for individuals, actual cloaking devices fit for spaceships are being developed as well. Both involve the use of so-called metamaterials that bend light and other electromagnetic waves around an object so that it appears to disappear, according to Popular Science. Photo Credit: BarelyFitz
    HAL: A Heuristic Algorithm
  • HAL: A Heuristic Algorithm

    Like the computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey, scientists have already developed a spacecraft that can navigate on its own by gauging its location based on its distance from stars and asteroids, according to CNN. And the ship, called Deep Space 1, can make its own decisions. But thankfully, as far as we know, the ship hasn’t developed any emotions or murderous urges. Photo Credit: racatumba
    The USS Enterprise
  • The USS Enterprise

    The Starship Enterprise in Star Trek is filled with once-fictional technology and still boasts futuristic (but possible) functions. We already have auto-pilot functions and navigational systems, the NASA Web site notes, plus some voice recognition capabilities, but it’s possible that the sensors, 3-D imaging and more sophisticated tricorder devices could become reality as well. Photo Credit: kregg.steppe
    The Holodeck
  • The Holodeck

    Star Trek’s holodeck is an early version of what’s now known as augmented reality, the combination of reality and computer-generated sights, feelings, smells and scenarios. Some iPhone apps are already attempting to enter the realm of augmented reality by overlaying data onto actual photographs. Photo Credit: ocean yamaha
    Teleportation
  • Teleportation

    Video tricks may be required to make nerds at a Star Trek convention appear to dematerialize in one location, then materialize in another, but teleportation is actually possible, according to recent scientific research. But as far as we know right now, the only teleportation possible involves information between individual atoms, according to Time magazine, and energy across space between particles, according to Popular Science. Photo Credit: epimethius
    Bionic Eyes
  • Bionic Eyes

    With a small computer chip implanted just behind the retina, plus a battery and transmitter, people who have lost their vision with age will be able to see again. The Boston Retinal Implant Project has been testing their retinal implants in animals and should have it ready for human use in a couple of years, according to The New York Times. The device also includes a thin wire to strengthen a damaged optic nerve and transmit light and images to the visual area of the brain. Photo Credit: kakashi
    Brain Implants for Telekinesis?
  • Brain Implants for Telekinesis?

    Moving things with one’s mind is an ability that even non-geeks dream of, and thanks to new technology, it’s actually possible … at least to a certain extent. Brain implants, which send brain wave signals wirelessly to devices, are being developed for a number of uses. For instance, Toyota has developed a wheelchair that can be controlled by brainwaves, according to Popular Science. Photo Credit: Hljod Huskona
    Bionic Body Parts
  • Bionic Body Parts

    Old TV shows like The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman in the 1970s suggested the possibility of more technologically-advanced biomechanical limbs, and now they’re actually available. Amputees can get bionic arms that they can move like real limbs, and even those with just partially-amputated hands can use a device from the company Touch Bionics to regain some manual dexterity, reports DOTmed News. The hand can read electrical impulses from the body letting the user pinch, grip and open and close the hand at will. Photo Credit: meerling
    Mechanical Motor Memory
  • Mechanical Motor Memory

    Amputees with prosthetics can also benefit from the ability to develop motor memory with prosthetic devices, meaning that performing a particular task using the device can eventually become second nature, according to recent research. Scientists at UC Berkeley have found that the brain can develop motor memory to control a device that’s not actually part of the body, according to Medical News Today. Photo Credit: Cat Wendt
    Cloning Organs
  • Cloning Organs

    There’s always a risk during transplant surgeries that a recipient’s body might reject the new organ as foreign material, but that problem can be avoided if transplanted organs are a genetic match with the patient. And you don’t have to have a twin or a spare clone of yourself lying around. Individual organs may be cloned without the need for stem cells from a human embryo. Human organ clones may even be grown in genetically modified pigs, according to government reports. Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks
    Growing Bone
  • Growing Bone

    Osteoporosis and shattered joints could deteriorate an aging population, but thanks to research at the University of California in Los Angeles, there’s a special protein that can encourage bone cells to grow where they’re needed without encouraging other tissues to grow where they aren’t, according to Live Science. That makes the growth of bones and tissue of an entire human body, like in the movie The Fifth Element, seem not so far off after all. Photo Credit: patrix
    Regeneration
  • Regeneration

    Generating a whole body from a single cell, also a concept in The Fifth Element, has actually been done, at least in mice, according to Wired. Regular mouse cells were reprogrammed by Japanese scientists to take on qualities of embryonic stem cells that can differentiate into any type of body tissue. And regrowing lost limbs has been done as well. One man who accidentally cut off an inch of his finger reportedly sprinkled collagen dust from a pig’s bladder onto the stump and regrew the fingertip, according to the Daily Mail. Scientists have also been studying the regenerative abilities of starfish and salamanders for possible human applications. Photo Credit: sflovestory
    Space Tourism
  • Space Tourism

    Americans have been fascinated by space exploration for decades in books like Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator and A Fall of Moondust for example, notes neatorama.com. But only recently has space tourism for non-scientists been possible. American millionaire Dennis Tito spent $20 million to tour space with the Russians, and Virgin’s Richard Branson is already selling seats on the Virgin Galactic commercial spaceship. Photo Credit: trodel
    Robot Maids
  • Robot Maids

    Cartoon watchers who loved The Jetsons, an animated series from the 1960s, were likely envious of Rosie, the robot maid. But today’s technology could make it easier to get automated household help. In Korea, a robot has been developed to clean, wash clothes and heat up and serve food, according to the Korea Times. Photo Credit: Pocheco
    Robotic Sex Dolls
  • Robotic Sex Dolls

    When developing subservient robots, one can’t forget about the demand for robotic sex dolls. Much better than your average blow-up doll, the robotic Roxxxy, shown at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo last month has more than warm, smooth skin and a C-cup; she has programmable personalities that offer wild, caring and motherly qualities to cater to her flesh-and-blood companion. Photo Credit: True Companion
    Two Places at Once
  • Two Places at Once

    Your average human being might not be able to exist in two places at one time, but electrons can, according to Discover magazine. In fact, they can even be omnipresent. This may only be possible on a very small scale, however. “Electrons, atoms, and molecules are so small that their gravity, and hence the amount of energy needed to keep them in duplicate states, is negligible,” Discover notes. Photo Credit: psd
    Touch Screens Everywhere!
  • Touch Screens Everywhere!

    In the new SyFy series Caprica, characters are transported into a virtual world by using a code tapped onto a single sheet of paper used like a touch screen, introducing new technology that could put any old touch pad to shame. One company, Tuvie, actually uses a holographic laser projector and infrared sensors to transform any flat surface into a keyboard or touch pad. Photo Credit: Tuvie
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