30I don’t know if you have ever watched Star Wars wondering, “What will the future be like?”
This question needs no guessing anymore. The future is here. There are many technologies that are part of our daily reality that many of us first saw while we were watching the Star Wars films.
Let’s take a look at five of these developments that went from screen into our lives.
1. The Hologram
“Help me Ob Wan Kenobi. You’re my only help!” When movie-goers first watched that scene in 1977, it was impossible to imagine something like that ever becoming a reality. Although, the idea of being able to deliver a message as a hologram was absolutely fascinating. As it turns out, that amazing piece of on screen special effects is now a reality.
A University of Arizona academician used a combination of lasers and cameras to create the first holographic message. This technology has been used several times since then, including the use of holograms to allow musicians to ‘perform’ with other musicians.
Well, at least we know the technology works.
When Star Wars first came out, some of the biggest stars in the movie were the androids. Not only were they cool to look at, they were intelligent and functional. There was nothing like these robots in real life. In fact, the closest thing available was the robotic technology that some manufacturing companies were just beginning to work with.
Today, there are robots that move like human beings, and that are able to analyze the input they receive and use artificial intelligence to act upon that information.
3. Bionic Limbs
“We can rebuild him…” okay, so that’s another franchise. However, anybody who has watched the Star Wars films knows that both Luke and his father lost their hands only to have them replaced with fully-functional bionic limbs. When the first movie came out, we witnessed Luke losing his hand and having it replaced with a fully functional prosthetic.
Although it was largely obscured in the movie posters, Luke successfully fought off many enemies using this new hand, including his father. It took a while though, for real life technology to catch up. Many fake limbs were cosmetic only, or they had limited functionality (think pincher or clamp). Today, biomedical engineers can design limbs that give amputees almost full function, and sometimes even improved function.
4. Heads Up Navigational Displays
Did you ever notice that when Luke flew his beloved X-Wing fighter, he never had to look down to see his instruments? This was because technology in a galaxy far far away gifted him with heads up navigation.
As it turns out, this not only looks cool, it makes navigation safer whether you are piloting a space ship or a sedan. BMW is just one of the car manufacturers who offers HUD (heads up displays) in certain models of their cars.
Star Wars may not have been the first time we say a hovercraft, we’re looking at you ‘Jetsons’, but the landspeeder sure made us want one of our own. If you still pine for your own hovercraft, look no further.
The company, Moller International has developed a hovercraft that can be purchased by every single person who has around 100k to spend.
Take that, Back to The Future.
Featured photo credit: Julie Ellis via bigstockphoto.com