Science-fiction has always inspired engineers for their innovations, and many connected objects that became a reality in the last decade were already well implemented in our imagination thanks to cinema and fiction.
Is innovation inspiring fiction, or is fiction inspiring innovation? Here are 4 innovations that seem to come right from a Sci-Fi movie.
1 – Smartwatches
Smartwatches and other types of connected bracelets have been part of sci-fi since about as long as this genre’s existence. They are especially represented in spy movies, such as James Bond, but also in famous franchises like Star Trek. While the very first connected watches started to be commercialised in the early 90s, they became widely popular in the 2010s, along with the Internet’s evolutions and the invention of smartphones.
Nowadays, it is estimated that about 20.1 million smartwatches have been sold in 2019 in the US only. This connected object has become a part of everyday life. Hard to think that a few years before, this object could only exist in Sci-Fi…
2 – Self-driving cars
Back to the Future promised us flying cars by 2015. While in 2020, we are not even close to seeing cars in the sky, self-driving cars and other smart cars are starting to emerge, even if they are not exactly part of our everyday life yet. Sef-driving cars can be seen in movies like Total Recall or I, Robot, and smart cars with a sassy AI have made an apparition in popular TV shows like Knight Rider.
3 – Connected houses
In most movies taking place in the future, it is not uncommon to see connected houses full of AI-driven objects that obey every need of their owner. No more chores, no more cooking, everything in the house can be ordered by a vocal command, or sometimes even with just a finger snap. Since the mid-2010s, houses have started to get equipped with assistants such as Alexa or Google Home, and even if it is not possible yet to control every single little object in the house, connected objects are a part of our everyday life. Let us just hope that it doesn’t en like in 2001: A Space Odyssey…
4 – Tablets and Smartphones
Tablets and Smartphones are now completely part of our modern lives. With about 3.5 billion users in 2019, almost half of the human population has a smartphone. Whether it is for work, school, or just for entertainment, smartphones are essential tools of our everyday life, to the point where it might seem hard for younger generations to imagine a time without smartphones. However, in the mid-20th century, those objects would only be seen in sci-fi movies.
Characters form the iconic show Star Trek haven been using digital tablets since 1966, and Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s PADDs (Personal Access Display Device) look a lot like tablets and smartphones. Martin Cooper, the inventor of the first mobile phone, even admitted that he took inspiration from Star Trek for this innovation…which proves that if fiction mimics life, life often mimics fiction as well.