Science fiction is one of the oldest genres in literature, with its roots tracing all the way back to the days of mythology.
Sci-fi can be fanciful, extreme, even downright insane, but what separates it from fantasy is that it commonly relies on technology which, in at least some respects, could actually be feasible.
Hover boards and flying DeLorean time machines may not have been created (yet), but other elements of Sci-Fi have certainly definitely permeated modern living.
Although not widely known, Jules Verne is credited with having directly inspired the inventor of the US Navy’s first submarines (Simon Lake was inspired by Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea) and creator of the modern helicopter, Igor Sikorsky was inspired by Verne’s Clipper of the Clouds.
There are a whole ream on other Sci-fi inspired gadgets and gizmos that have appeared too: the 1966 film Batman introduced us to one of the greatest gadgets of all time – shark repellent. And low and behold, chemist Eric Stroud developed a device that effectively repels sharks and sends them swimming in the other direction based around magnetism.
The next great innovation to jump from Hollywood’s silver screen of Sci-fi and the police monitored state of Minority Report is Google Glass.
In an attempt to free data from desktop computers and portable devices like phones and tablets, and place it right in front of your eyes Google has developed arguably its greatest innovation yet. Essentially, Google Glass is a camera, display, touchpad, battery and microphone built into spectacle frames so that you can perch a display in your field of vision, film, take pictures, search and translate on the go.
The principle is one that has been around for years in science fiction, and with Google moving a step closer to mass-producing its glass (after taking a stake in a company that makes the device’s screens) this slightly clunky prototype has taken a significant step towards becoming the next Sci-fi inspired product to become a reality.
The demand for big budget Hollywood Sci-fi films is as popular as ever and our grasp of technological continues apace the question is; if the sky’s no longer the limit and it’s rather our imagination what can we expect next? Maybe my dream of a hover board for Christmas isn’t that far away after all!