Things SciFi Gave Society
Technology is a wonderful thing. Thanks to the efforts of inventors like Steve Jobs, gadgets our parents and grandparents only dreamed about are now a part of our daily lives. This article explores a few popular ones, but they are only a small fraction of the modern devices available in current society.
Videophone (The Jetsons)
When the animation studio Hanna-Barbera first aired The Jetsons in the early 1960’s, the idea of Jane Jetson actually seeing what husband George was up to via their videophone was just an amusing fantasy. But thanks to technology today many people use videophones! They are particularly useful to the deaf and hearing impaired, who use the devices to communicate with hearing persons. For those unable to invest in this type of gadget, the software application Skype allows users to make voice and video calls right from their laptop or home computer. There’s even a way to use Kinect for Xbox 360 as a Skype webcam.
Voice Recognition Software (Star Trek)
No one envied William Shatner’s Star Trek character more than my grandfather. Every time Captain James T. Kirk spoke the words “COMPUTER ON” to his machine Grandpa would whoop, “Someday I want a gadget that turns on when I tell it to!” Programs like Siri come in handy for simultaneously talking and doing something else -- like driving! Fellow gaming friends from Iron Realms MMORPGs send me instant messages using the software. Overall the software gets the job done but at times it is pretty frustrating -- for them! For instance, one female friend asked me if I could I pick up a copy of the Green Hornet from RedBox. Imagine her shock and my amusement when the translation asked if I could pick up her greatly horny red box. Situations like this happen with such frequency that websites exist for users to share their horrific texting moments -- everything from one asking her boyfriend to pick up human beef (Hunan beef) for dinner, to people being evacuated due to hurricane Urine (Irene).
Holograms (Star Wars)
The science of holography, or using light to beam images to alternate locations, was first used in 1947 -- long before George Lucas had the idea for a three-dimensional Princess Leia to plea, “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi.” According to an article at ABC News researchers at the University of Arizona working to develop holograms in hopes of projecting full-sized, animated, high-resolution color images. We already see holograms on drivers licenses and stickers, but can you imagine playing your favorite Iron Realms MMORPGs with your best friend at your side? Sure, you wouldn’t be able to really high-five them when taking down evil overlords in your favorite fantasy settings, but it would certainly add to the realism of the overall RPG experience. I know I wouldn’t mind hanging out with fellow gamers without sacrificing part of my laptop screen to have a designated Skype window!
Tablets (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
Since Douglas Adams first introduce the idea of “The Guide” in 1978, nerds have dreamed of a tablet to call their own. Thanks to Steve Jobs that dream is now reality for millions of iPad users around the world. Unlike other tablet devices that rely on a pressure sensitive stylus, touch displays allow iProduct users to control their device with a simple tap or slide of the fingertip. One popular thief in the Iron Realms game Achaea not only manages to play the popular MMORPG from his iPad, but he also created triggers to go on robbing unprepared adventurers regardless of where he was. Whether sitting through a class, taking public transportation or waiting for his girlfriend to finish shopping in the mall, thanks to the iPad he could play Achaea, log into the forums and even read the latest Iron Realms news articles.
Now it’s your turn to explore! What’s your favorite modern-day device from the science fiction and fantasy media of generations past? What item hasn’t yet been invented that you’d like to own? Or better yet, what items from your favorite F2P MMORPG games would you like to see invented for use in real life? Your comments are welcome in the spaces below. Thanks for reading!