Science Fiction Technologies which are now a Reality

Today, there are a lot of projects and companies from private companies and hobbyists that have taken advantage of latest technologies and talent to make things happen. In this blog post I would be sharing some of those cool products showcased in the past in science-fiction TV series, which are now a reality. 

1) Tablet computers shown in ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’, are now ubiquitous, thanks to Apple’s iPads and various other brands that have made Tablet computers a phenomenon around the world. Today Tablet computers are used across places, be it for education, brand feedback or for entertainment purposes.

2) In the Jetsons, one got to witness driverless and flying cars. Now we have driverless cars being regularly on trials across roads. And soon flying taxis as well, with drones looking to ferry passengers being tested by companies like Boeing and at cities like Dubai.

3) Again on ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’, a holodeck was built to create virtual reality experiences for its participants. Today virtual reality headsets are becoming increasingly popularly, with these headsets being used for gaming, training, learning and development and even in the maintenance of equipment.

Here are some more that were showcased on movies, and which are now a reality.
4) Wearable Computing – Back to the Future II (1989)
5) Skype – 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
6) Touch Interface – Minority Report (2002)
7) Robot Assisted Surgery – Sleeper (1973)
8) Smartphones/PDAs – Star Trek: The Original Series (1966)
9) 3D Printing at Home – Weird Science (1985)
10) Siri – 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Check out these and more on this Gizmodo articleMany of these projects would not have been a reality had it not been for the generous support and funding of innovators in their research and development efforts.

Crowdfunding for Travel?

Where it Matt-ers

Believe it or not, no wait.. believe it, there’s a crowdfunding site to help you raise money for your travel expenses. When I bumped into Golibre during my research, the excitement of the existence of such a site soon gave way to some sense-making – why would someone fund something that’s usually considered a leisure activity?

When I shared this with Michael, he too sounded bewildered. While it is true travelgasms are often experienced by travelers themselves, in the eye of the beholder that is, but in this case also in the ears of the listener.

It’s just like being there!
Having traveled quite a bit around China, India, SE Asia and Europe, like many other travelers I’ve had the privilege to met some amazing people and exchange exciting stories. Making friends with local cultures and co-travelers, and sharing experiences have been priceless – especially in times where even 20+ years of a way of life, makes other ways of doing things seem so outrageously unimaginable.

Living & re-living experiences!
While I haven’t done much of America, and never been to Africa, Australia or the Middle-East, I’ve had the privilege of learning about these places by chancing upon those who have been there. It did feel like I was there too, right through their experience sharing. It was equally fun to share experiences of similar places we’d been to.

Seeing is believing!
Like most people, I too read about places before traveling there and at times get carried away reading. For instance prior to the 6-Month stint in China, I’d encountered some media discourse that almost foxed me into not making that trip. Glad I did it for I loved the trip, so much so that I felt there was much more I’d experienced through the travel than what the gamut of information available on the world wide web would have ever told me.

Feeling something – in your hands!
With travel comes souvenirs and pictures. While the latter stays for a lifetime, the souvenirs are usually gifted. I do the same, and often end up feeling ‘if only I bought a few more’. Here is where this crowdfunding idea looks to pitch in. Imagine receiving relics from ancient India, the Machu Picchu, the former Mesopotamia, the Terra Cotta Army in Xi’an China or even something that’s more contemporary, like the Oktober fest mug from Munich – priceless isn’t it.

Share and care, and travel!
I remember asking a friend for some Chinese Tea when she left for her trip, but then she forgot. On the hindsight, I feel maybe I should have given something in return, especially since she was making that big trip for a reason. There are many who travel as part of their book-writing, movie-making, or helping social causes and small businesses. There are few excuses not to travel, besides the expensive flying costs. Crowdfunding may well take care of this final frontier, don’t you think so?