In many respects we are already living the future. Technology is moving forward so quickly that electronics and gadgets can become a thing of the past virtually overnight. But what are the Top 5 Gadgets that we wish were real?
Gadget fads come and go. Just consider the music CD, which not so long ago seemed futuristic. Thanks to the ipod and digital music, the humble CD is on the verge of going the same way as game cartridges and VHS Cassettes.
There are a few rules that will probably be true for new technology. Gadgets of the future will be smaller, smarter and faster. But surely gadgets can only get smaller until they reach an optimum size, and there has to be limit on how fast things can operate (speed of light perhaps?) which only leaves the matter of intelligence, which is truly limitless. But some gadgets go beyond rules, into the worlds of fantasy; can these ever be a reality?
Electronic gadgets that once seemed to be science fiction, but now are not a million miles away from being science fact. How close are we to achieving the holy grail of gadgets?
Whilst perhaps the coolest weapon that could ever exist, it is highly likely that genuine lightsabers like those seen in Star Wars will never come into being. The first of many engineering challenges would be in figuring out a way to stop the beam of light about two feet from the source, and unfortunately light does not work in this way.
Lasers are a thing of reality of course, but they do not cut through materials, or clash with other lasers. It is physically impossible to fit something with the power that would be needed to burn through substances into a lightweight handheld casing without it taking your hand off.
Expected time until a reality – Never
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When it comes to Star Trek, few things are more iconic than the human teleportation system that allowed the team to beam down to planets. But how likely is that we will be able to ‘beam’ to work someday in seconds?
Quantum teleportation has been successfully demonstrated by scientists, but only to the extent of tiny protons across fairly small distances. The truth is that we are a long way from teleportation of anything as complex as a human being, and that’s not even considering the immense power requirements, which throw the concept into doubt.
Expected time until a reality – At least 1000 years
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The Doctor’s trusty tool for opening doors and using sonic waves to unscrew things has been a staple of Doctor Who since the sixties, so you would think that advances in the field would have taken place; and you’d be right!
In 2012 scientists at the Dundee University created a machine which uses ultrasound to lift and rotate a rubber disc floating in a cylinder of water. OK, so it’s not as impressive as repelling Daleks, but it’s a start. Surgeons already use ultrasound to treat a range of conditions without having to cut open a patient, and this looks set to be improved.
Expected time until a reality – 50 years
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For anyone that has seen the movie Minority Report, you will probably agree with me that the coolest thing in the movie was the touch activated computer screens that were conducted like an orchestra. But this is not science fiction, the technology is pretty much with us already.
The handheld tablet really helped to free the computer from its box confinement, and that liberation has found its way into things like touch tables and interactive advertising. And now walls are going interactive like the one located in Helsinki, which is pretty similar.
Expected time until a reality – 25 years
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When you think about the ability to talk to someone in another country is a relatively recent achievement in the history man, and now being able to see who you are talking to through things like Skype is second nature.
As for the next step, telecommunications giant IBM is currently working on holographic phones and the technology could be available to consumers within a relatively short period of time. Holographic Phones will give the impression of the person you are talking to being right there with you, and vice versa. Just make sure you’re not in your PJ’s.
Expected time until a reality – 5 years
And if you can’t wait for your dream gadget you can always cheat with a toy lightsaber from The Entertainer. Showcase your passion for the Force with a 90cm long lightsaber featuring glowing light effects and motion sensor-controlled sounds. And until 11th April you can get £5 Off when you Spend £50, exclusively with MyVoucherCodes
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