Science Fiction or Science FACTion?!

Posted: May 8, 2013 in Technology
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Man has always been interested in the progress of technology, and since the very first Stone Age man inventing the wheel we have always tried to do one better than the guy before. But doing one better than the guy before takes time, patience, and some intelligence to get the job done, it can also take time and the lack of tools to get it done right. But that didn’t stop film makers turning into modern day Nostradamus’ and showcasing “futuristic” technologies that were based hundreds, sometimes thousands of years into the future, but have actually been popping up conventions over the years!

Most films that come to mind when I think of futuristic themes with gadgets tha have been popping up in the recent future would be the likes of Total Recall and Demolition Man, but there have also been little hints of things to come in modern day films such as James Bond. The exclusive gadgets that bond was offered throughout his entire movie lifespan always seemed so high tech and out of this world, but it has only been announced that one of his most famous gadgets can now be yours to own!

Let’s start off with one of the most iconic scenes in Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond Tomorrow Never Dies, the scene takes place in a parking lot and Bond is stuck in his car, there is no way that he can get to the driver’s seat without being gunned down by a hail of bullets, so what does he do, he reaches into his pocket and takes out his trusty, and quite high tech for its time, mobile phone. He then proceeds to drive the car with his mobile phone, using the phones accelerometer as a steering wheel and the LCD display as a monitor so he can see where he is driving.

Now you may be wondering, what this has to do with recent technological breakthroughs, well a couple of years ago a group of scientists and techies in Germany were able to develop an app for the iPhone to let you drive a full sized, slightly modified van. And whilst I was doing the research for this project I was surprised to see that even they couldn’t help but make the comparison to the TND’s scene of Bond and his car driving app. But will it beat Angry Birds?!

So that takes out self driving and mobile driven cars, but on piece of space age technology that seems to be hitting the shelves in the next year or so is the walk in game room that is featured in sci fi action thriller Gamer, Simon Silverton steps into his room and with the flick of his hand he is able to browse the web, purchase in game items and allow him to do other internet based activities. And it is the good people at Microsoft that announced their own Gamer-esque walk in gaming room, with their Project Illumiroom

Simon’s Virtual Reality Gaming Room From “Gamer”

Project Illumiroom was announced at CES 2013 in late January this year, and it shocked the crowd with its ground breaking use of Microsoft’s already innovative Kinect Sensor, but now it is being integrated with a state of the art projector that projects an image of the game you are playing, simulating a 3d environment of the landscape in the game. You can then control the games characters using your own body, there has been no reports of internet browsing or any other uses for the Illumiroom. Although I’m sure some third party will hack it and make it do something amazing, like one person who hacked the Kinect sensor and a shopping trolley to be able to carouse the lanes and find you’re shopping, and price it for you too!

This brings us then to the vision of the world in Demolition Man, the 1993 action flick starring Sylvester Stallone. Set in the futuristic city of San Angeles where everything that has been deemed satisfying or bad for you is classed as illegal, and the world is a peaceful and clean place. One of the many things that have been deemed illegal due to its possibly infectious properties was the act of sexual intercourse, and to battle this they have developed a device to simulate that of sexual intercourse with any physical contact, well we haven’t made anything quite as intricate as that just yet, but scientists have made something quite similar.

The “Sex” Scene from Demolition Man

The scientists over in Lovotics have made, what I consider anyway, one of the most creepy robots in the history of mankind, the Kissenger allows the user to send a life like kiss to their partner over a wireless connection by means of a pair of identical robots. This takes away from the physical contact with another human being, if one of the two is uncomfortable with that, but one thing that I came across during my research of Kissenger was that one of its modes features not only human to human kissing, but also a human to robot kiss! As stated on Lovotics website:

“2. Human to Robot kiss: enabling an intimate relationship with a robot, such technology provides a new facility for closer and more realistic interactions between humans and robots. In this scenario, one set of artificial lips is integrated in a humanoid robot.”

These are just tastes of film tech that is fast becoming an everyday part of our lives, with these films being set in the distant future who would’ve guessed that a mere 10-20 years later that we have the majority of the tech seen back then, and more! Nowadays we can control the heating, the lights in our house just with the touch on our smartphones, we can surf the web anywhere, and one invention that stood out from the CES 2013 show, the ability to use air and water as an interactive touch screen for a laptop or desktop. All this is truly a piece of Science fiction turned Science Faction!

Adam Waugh.

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