by Meera Nair
Media representations are meant to reflect life and, sometimes, life itself lends meaning from the various narratives that propel these stories. Even the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres have underlying themes, drawn from real life. So it is only natural if we made our way to some of the technology that we have seen in Science Fiction works. Even though some of these aren’t currently accessible to everyone for various reasons, here are some machines or gadgets right out of a science fiction story:
- Artificial Intelligence – This is by far the most incredible invention of the century. AIs are droids that carry out operations a lot faster than computers, let alone the human mind. Some AIs are meant to look like humans, and it is conjectured that soon they would take over human jobs; leaving thousands of people unemployed. Akin to the robots that we see in books like I, Robot or Star Wars, they are programmed to pick up human behaviours and surpass our cognitive abilities of analysis and reasoning.
- Robot Chef – An organization called Moley has developed a mechanism that functions as a complete kitchen assistant; equipped with the capability to cook hundreds of meals and even clear up the mess! Characterized by a pair of robotic arms, it comprises of all the necessary appliances and tools and can be operated with a smartphone app. The consumer version of this product is said to be out in 2018. Undoubtedly, it would be quiet an investment.
- Autonomous Cars – Driverless or robotic cars are vehicles that don’t require humans to manoeuvre them. They utilise different technologies to detect their surroundings, so as to drive, park and reverse by themselves. Stephen King’s Christine and S.D Perry’s Timecop are popular for their inclusion of driverless cars. It is said that once autonomous cars are integrated into society, the rate of automobile accidents is supposed to reduce substantially. However, the reliability of these cars on software, that could possibly be exploited, is a concern in itself.
- The Pilot – One of the main impediments in understanding different cultures is their diverse languages and dialects. Waverly Labs’ The Pilot, an in-ear device that translates foreign languages in real time is an astounding creation. We’ve previously seen such a device in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (the Babel Fish), Star Trek (the Universal Translator) and Farscape (the Translator Microbes). Currently, it only works for a few languages like English, Spanish, Italian and French. But there is scope for broadening the range in the future. This would definitely come in handy when you need to migrate to a new country.
- 3D Pens – Inspired by holographs, the 3D printing pen allows an individual to magnify their ideas into 3D visuals. It makes use of colourful plastic filaments which, upon being heated, are liquefied and emitted through the nozzle. They solidify almost instantly to hold shape. These pens function just like glue guns and give life to your creativity.
There are several other devices that would remind you of how lavish our human lives are becoming; much like Sci-Fi novels. It is only a matter of time before people are also mechanized through the use of electronic chips and such.