Movies are a reflection of what society is and what it could be. The science-fiction gene has helped us explore the domain of ‘what could be’ the future of mankind on several fronts. The technology that sci-fi movies show may not necessarily always come true. But sometimes they do come eerily close to predicting the future. This decade will see a lot of the technologies that had only been a figment of sci-fi come to life! Presenting – 10 Impossibly Futuristic technologies from movies that will be reality this decade!!
Artificial Life – Splice
When it comes to playing God, no race could even come close to humanity. They thrive in that notion of total control. While humanity has taken to the stars and has conquered the moon and is on the verge of a break-through that will allow it to move to other planets, the one thing they have still not managed to understand is their own origin. A research group in the United States is the closest to replicate an Act of God – creating life from scratch. In the movie Splice, a research duo created an artificial life from by splicing genes and mixing it with the DNA of a human being. The California Based US Research group working out of the Scripps Research Institute has successfully created what they call a synthetic organism that can grasp and store genetic information. They would be moving to use that data to create artificial multi-cellular organisms soon.
Sentient Robots – Ex Machina
Ex Machina showcased a lone genius’ attempt to create the perfect robot with an artificial-consciousness which could rival that of a human being’s. Another person is invited to record his findings and show the world what he has accomplished with his latest creation. The Machine would become sentient and would rebel against its creator, successfully escaping the facility. There have been several attempts by scientists to create the perfect robot. There have been six examples so far – the Kodomoroid, the BINA48, Geminoid DK, Junko Chihira, Nadine, and of course Sophia – world’s first sentient robot to be awarded citizenship. She has become somewhat of a celebrity now.
Orbital Cities – Elysium
Orbital Cities look like a very achievable thing to do. But the truth is – they are extremely difficult to make. Money is not an issue as much as it is the actual creation of support systems that could sustain a Permanent Orbital Space Habitat. Elysium showed us a world where the elite a=have taken to space, living in a floating Orbital Station called Elysium which as big as a metropolitan city. While creating a habitat this huge might still be a while away, there is already a permanent orbital space habitat – it is called the International Space Station. NASA is currently working on the Nautilus X Multi Mission Space Exploration Vehicle which will have inflatable modules that could act as “space homes”. Bigelow – a Multi-National Hotel Chain has already announced plans for Space Station Alpha – a 100,000 cubic feet space hotel.
3D Printed Organs – Darkman
Darkman was not the best of moments for the superhero genre. It still managed to become a cult classic. Darkman stats the story of Doctor Peyton Westlake, a scientist working on facial reconstruction technology, who is attacked and left disfigured and for dead. He uses his technology to create artificial faces and masks that he uses to impersonate people and infiltrate criminal organizations as Darkman. 3D Printing has come a long way since just being able to print plastic toys. It is now possible to actually 3D-Print synthetic organs. Anne Zieger of the Healthcare AI Institute confirms that she is in the final stages of creating a functional 3D organ printer.
Human Mission to Mars – The Martian
The Martian is set in the year 2035 when humanity has successfully landed humans on Mars. The Red Planet is no longer a stranger to humans, who now have even set up bases on the planet. Colonization of Mars had been a frequent debate in scientific circles. The economic and social implications were huge. While governments the world over quarrel over the consequences, Elon Musk is already making it a reality with the SpaceX Mars Transportation Infrastructure Project. Elon Musk is using SpaceX’s resources to launch capsules to orbit, which will be assembled in space and then launched to Mars. It will be a one way trip, with the astronauts having no chance of returning to Earth.
Powered Exoskeleton – Edge of Tomorrow
It is still not possible to make a suit with the level of technology that constitutes the Iron Man armor. So you can throw that out of the window. But the movie Edge of Tomorrow also had a very interesting iteration of a powered Exoskeleton. It looked realistic and plausible enough for food for thought. The United States Army is developing the TALOS Suit – a highly advanced suit of armor that has sensor arrays to process data from drones, reconnaissance systems, and other sensors and generate a heat map of the battlefield. It will have armor plating, a heads up display, and most importantly, it comes retro-fitted with a strength augmentation system. It is already in the field testing stages.
Rail Gun – Transformers
The Rail Gun is a technology that uses pure electromagnetic energy to hurl an object at speeds ten to thirty times the speed of sound. With a rail gun, you do not actually need any explosives. The projectile launched would itself have as much kinetic energy which when hit target, will be like a tactical nuclear device explosion. The Rail Guns were featured in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and only one projectile was enough to destroy Devastator, one of the biggest Decepticons in the history of the Transformers Universe. The United States and China have already developed and are fielding Rail Gun technology while India has already demonstrated it and is about to begin further trials before it is incorporated into the Armed Forces.
Faster Than Light Travel – Star Trek
A Warp Core allowed a ship in Star Trek to traverse distances that are hundreds of light-years away in a matter of minutes. By allowing the ship to enter into Warp Space –a sub-region of space where the laws of physics can be bended, a ship can actually go beyond the speed of light. Faster than light travel is impossible according to Einstein’s theory of relativity! But it has been proven wrong. Two Physicists from the University of Koblenz successfully transmitted photons beyond the speed of light by using a technique called the Quantum Tunnel effect. Faster than Light travel is actually possible now! Star Trek – 1, Einstein – 0!!
Doomsday Device – Dr Strange-Love
In Doctor Strange-Love, a Doomsday Device that is activated to ensure the world is burnt to ashes if World War Three happens, switches itself on and destroys the world after a false alarm triggers it. Doomsday Devices and machines are the tropes of ultimate science fiction fantasies. But the Russians had already created one more than half a century ago in 1961. It was called the Tsar Bomba the world’s most powerful nuclear weapon that has a blast yield of 100 Megatons. To put things into perspective, the weapons that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were only 15 Kilotons. A Megaton is a 1000 Kilotons. Russia had abstained from making the Tsar Bomba due to peace treaties they signed with the USA. Since America is actively violating international agreements, all Russia has to do now is start making those bad boys again. Half a dozen Tsar Bombas, if exploded simultaneously, will end all life on Earth. There’s your doomsday device.
Laser Weaponry – Star Wars
If you think Laser weaponry is only applicable to the Star Wars movies, you could not be more wrong. There already exists battle grade laser weaponry within the US armed forces. Laser weapons have been used in the past as rangefinders and targeting systems. But their use in such an offensive manner is about to happen in the next decade. The Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons stops its signatories from using laser weapons that could permanently damage the human eye. Pulsed Energy Projectiles that use electro-laser to stun enemies are actually a thing. There is also research going on in using high energy lasers to be used as anti-aircraft systems. A laser weapon called Zeus is being used by US forces to destroy landmines and as an anti-personnel system.