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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Guest Blog #1 - Into the Future: 5 Pieces of Sci-Fi Tech that Exist Today

Welcome to the first of the guest blog slots for 5D. This inaugural piece comes across the pond from 5D headquarters and deals with the fascinating subject of modern technological devices that can trace their origins back to a variety of Sci-Fi sources. It's a great read so check it out!

If you would like to be a guest blogger for me then you can contact me through my website at

Into the Future: 5 Pieces of Sci-Fi Tech that Exist Today

Science-fiction has given us a glimpse of the future where advanced technology enables humans to build a better world for themselves. You may have a favorite piece of sci-fi tech on your eventual wish list but these five REAL futuristic devices find their roots in the inspiring genre of tomorrow.

Star Trek PADD - The Original iPad

The Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy tablets have made on-the-go computing easy without having to lug around a heavy laptop or a cumbersome charger. But Captain Picard and his crew made use of similar technology with their PADDs- Personal Access Display Devices- twenty-three years before Apple introduced the iPad. While the Enterprise is shown making use of the PADD for exploration and maintaining a galaxy-class starship tablets of all brands are being used in a variety of ways. From fast access to records and data in healthcare to a cat toy, the PADD is here to stay.

Iron Man Armor - Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS)

Stan Lee created the character of Tony Stark as a Cold War era Howard Hughes in 1963 while Robert Downey, Jr. gave the character new life in the 2008 movie. His fully-equipped weapons arsenal and flying suit gave the US Department of Defense its own ideas. The TALOS repels bullets, allows wearers to lift heavy objects and comes with heating and cooling systems. The system is due to be unveiled in 2018 but it lacks the one thing we all want from the Iron Man armor - flight.

Credit Cards - Credit Cards in Looking Backwards by Edward Bellamy

While modern sci-fi giants dominate screens and store shelves we often forget that there was a time when some of the things we use every day were future imaginations. Such is the story with credit and debit cards. Though we swipe them for seemingly everything, Edward Bellamyin his 1888 classic novel introduced the idea of credit cards to the world. While the actual idea didn't catch on until the 1950's with Frank McNamara creating the Diner's Club. Bellamy's novel is full of eerie accurate predictions of our own modern credit card system.

Earbuds - Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury is a literary master and his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 continues to be a recommended classic. Each time you pop in your earbuds to listen to your favorite tunes you have Bradbury to thank for imagining the concept. In truth in-ear listening devices were first developed in the 1850's, but Bradbury gives them the progressive twist they needed to become a modern forecast. His future world calls earbuds "seashells" or "thimble radios." In fact Bradbury's novel goes on to make several future technology predictions that have since been made real.

Star Trek Tricorder - Futuristic Healthcare

Gene Roddenberry's future visions in Star Trek continue to inspire future innovations and the thought of a tricorder to be used in healthcare is one that has a lot of push. In the show we see Doctor Crusher whip out her tricorder, hover it near a patient and get an instant vitals reading on a palm-held device. The Qualcomm Foundation has an active grant program for those who create a tricorder to their specifications. The Scanadu Scout is a great example of tricorder technology that makes use of something everyone has these days - a mobile smartphone.

When it comes to sci-fi technology, life imitates art as it inspires scientific advancement. Some ideas may seem far-fetched but we can always hope that one day teleportation or warp drive will come true.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes about technology and other gadgets and gizmos aplenty. She currently writes for Total Voice Tech, her go to for dictation equipment.

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