12 Awesome Movie Technologies We Want Science to Actually Create

Published 8 months ago by

Star Trek Data with Tricorder 570x320 12 Awesome Movie Technologies We Want Science to Actually Create

At some point, we’ve all watched as a movie character on screen pulls out some fancy widget to accomplish a task and thought, “Dang! That’s really neat. It’d be awesome if that was a real thing.”

A while back, the brain trusts behind Xprize, “an educational nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity,” offered up $10 million to the first person who invents a working tricorder. That’s right, the device Dr. “Bones” McCoy uses on the Enterprise to diagnose ailments could very well become a reality in the next few years.

Xprize has further rewards coming in the future, for creation of a variety of devices that, if a reality, would help mankind in numerous ways. Health Sensors, bionics, organ transplants and dinosaurs are just a few of the available contests up for grabs (you can read about all of them HERE).

The radical announcement got us wondering: “What other helpful devices from movies would we like to see science actually create?” Everything in this list benefits humanity is some form and would be considered both a technological and scientific marvel – meaning, there aren’t any weapons on this list (sorry, no lightsabers or jaegers).

1. Everlasting Gobstopper

Willy Wonka Everlasting Gobstopper 570x318 12 Awesome Movie Technologies We Want Science to Actually Create

Seen in: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

From 1 to 99, we don’t care what age you are – everyone LOVES candy. Willy Wonka was known for inventing wild and out-of-box confectionary treats but none were as fantastic as his Everlasting Cavities Gobstoppers. The chances of a candy manufacturer creating a piece of food that never goes away is about as good as a tire manufacturer inventing a tire that never loses rubber – but we can certainly dream.

-

2. Hoverboard

Back to the Future Hoverboard 570x318 12 Awesome Movie Technologies We Want Science to Actually Create

Seen in: Back to the Future 2

Ever since 1989 when Marty McFly stepped out of Doc Brown’s time traveling DeLorean and onto Mattel’s Hoverboard, people everywhere have been eagerly anticipating the year 2015 when the coolest toy ever invented would be heralded into Toys ‘R Us stores everywhere.

Unfortunately, so far all we’ve received from the Back to the Future films are futuristic-looking sneakers from Nike, broken promises, and videos of “inventors” trolling the internet with fakes. Still, if someone was to actually figure out a way to make a Hoverboard become a reality, we’re sure it would immediately receive its own spot at ESPN’s X-Games. Sure, we have a SUV-size rover patrolling the surface of Mars but get back to us when we can hover a foot off our driveway.

-

3. Electromagnetic Climbing Gloves

Mission Impossible 4 Electromagnetic Gloves 570x320 12 Awesome Movie Technologies We Want Science to Actually Create

Seen in: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

When secret agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) needs to climb a shear rock face, he uses his bare hands, but what does he use when having to climb the glass walls of Burj Khalifa in Dubai? His electromagnetic climbing gloves, of course. The possible uses for an invention like this are almost limitless: firefighters climbing up the sides of buildings to rescue those in distress, S.W.A.T. officers surprising bad guys by sneaking up the back of a building instead of using the stairs, the cast of Jackass drunkenly climbing Trump Tower to moon “The Donald”.

Though nothing official has been announced, Peter Blaber – a former Delta Force commander and author of the book The Mission, The Men, and Me: Lessons from a Former Delta Force Commander, says in an interview with the Washington Post those gloves are already a reality. Color us intrigued.

-

4. Medbays

Elysium Medbay 570x320 12 Awesome Movie Technologies We Want Science to Actually Create

Seen in: Elysium

If you’ve ever been the parent of a sick child, then you’ve felt the absolute desperation Frey felt and the lengths she was willing to go to as a mother when trying to get her daughter Matilda to Elysium in hopes that a medbay could cure her leukemia.

Besides the obvious cancer-curing possibilities, imagine an athlete suffering a horrific sport injury (like Joe Theismann getting his leg broken by Lawrence Taylor). Theismann could be carted off the field, fixed in a medbay in 30 minutes, then return to finish the game. An invention like this would, quite literally, change the world – as long as its patients aren’t limited to only those with enough money to live in outer space.

-

5. Advanced Artificial Intelligence

Iron Man 2001 A Space Odyssey Her JARVIS HAL 9000 Samantha 570x320 12 Awesome Movie Technologies We Want Science to Actually Create

Seen in: Iron Man, Her, 2001: A Space Odyssey

Audiences loved Tony Stark’s virtual butler J.A.R.V.I.S in Iron Man, Theodore actually fell IN love with Samantha in Her, and HAL 9000 tried to kill everyone in 2001: A Space Odyssey - no matter how you look at it, advanced A.I. is destined to eventually be a part of our lives. Hopefully the realization of A.A.I. is closer to J.A.R.V.I.S. than it is HAL 9000 (at least that’s what programmers Chiragh Dewan and Himanshu Vaishnav hope to accomplish – read about there HERE).

After all, having a computer know what you mean when you talk to it, then both act upon those instructions (or know what your next instruction will be) would be provide indispensable assistance in a variety of scenarios. Tony Stark uses it to help fly his billion dollar suit of armor but what if a doctor could use it to perform life saving surgery?

-

6. Dinosaurs

Jurassic Park Dinosaurs 570x320 12 Awesome Movie Technologies We Want Science to Actually Create

Seen in: Jurassic Park

Before the eye rolling starts at the ridiculousness of bringing beasts like stegosaurus, triceratops, and brontosaurus back to life, know that we aren’t the first to suggest it as a possibility. Xprize actually has a “Jurassic Park Prize” listed on their prize page as a concept competition they are considering. Cloning isn’t really a new science, remember Dolly the sheep, but that was cloning a living animal and not tissue that has long since been extinct.

Still, imagine a preserve filled with animals that once dominated these lands. If science could bring them back, then they could also bring back the mighty bison, or the odd-looking dodo bird. Obviously a T-Rex running rampant in San Diego isn’t ideal (especially not when Comic Con is going on), so picking the right genus of dinosaur would be extremely important. At the very least, make sure not to piss off the computer tech that is in charge of your entire security grid.

-

7. Neuralizer

Men in Black Neuralizer 570x320 12 Awesome Movie Technologies We Want Science to Actually Create

Seen in: Men in Black

Anyone who has ever done something they wish everyone would forget – like say, that drunken time you broke into Sea World to steal a penguin or ripped your pants on the dance floor in front of your prom date. What better way to erase those serious faux pas than with a short term memory eraser?

In all seriousness, scientists have been using flashing lights of various wavelengths in an attempt to treat a multitude of diseases that affect memory, including Alzheimer’s. If a real life reverse-neuralizer could help cure something like that, then we’re all for it becoming a reality.

-

8. Liquid Breathing Equipment

The Abyss Liquid Breathing 570x320 12 Awesome Movie Technologies We Want Science to Actually Create

Seen in: The Abyss

The deepest scuba dive on record is 509 feet, while the deepest deep sea dive on record is 2000 feet – set by Chief Navy Diver Daniel Jackson in 2006 using an Atmospheric Diving Suit. Compare those statistics to the deepest part of the ocean (7 miles deep) and humans have just barely broken the surface of the water.

Sure, James Cameron (Avatarmade it to the bottom, though he did it using a submarine (still an amazing feat) since humans have limitations on how far they can breathe compressed oxygen at great depths. Oxygen toxicity is the main culprit holding us back but breathing oxygen-enriched liquid would theoretically solve that problem – allowing humans to explore the ocean depths without a submarine.

-

9. Robotic Helpers

I Robot The Jetsons The Stars Wars Saga Robotic Helpers 570x320 12 Awesome Movie Technologies We Want Science to Actually Create

Seen in: The Jetsons, Star Wars, I-Robot

In real life, most robotic assistants are used strictly for medical purposes or mass manufacturing - because regardless of how Hollywood likes to portray them, not every robot or android has to be some hulking, scary, killing machine.

Unfortunately, the robots we have today are just arms or gripper fingers and not very helpful in our everyday lives. Let’s be honest though, humans can be really lazy, and who better to pick that TV remote off the ground, hang up our laundry, bring us a snack, or mow our lawns than our very own robotic assistant? Just make sure their directives are clear – so that they don’t turn and enslave us.

-

10. Deep Earth Exploration Vessel

The Core Deep Earth Digger 570x320 12 Awesome Movie Technologies We Want Science to Actually Create

Seen in: The Core

Mankind has built machines to explore vastness of space, the depths of the ocean floor, and even crawl around the surface of Mars but we have yet to truly explore the inside of planet Earth. The Russians have drilled further than anyone at 7.5 miles in the Kola Peninsula (though there’s a $1 billion project underway to go even further) but even those attempts merely use drill tubes and not actual human beings in a ship.

A ship like Virgil used in The Core will most likely never be a reality due to the extreme pressure and heat the hull would have to endure – 3.5 million PSI and 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the ability to explore what’s under our feet would give science significant insight into the inner-workings of our own planet – as well as other potentially hospitable planets (in the future).

-

11. Teleporter

Star Trek Teleporter 570x320 12 Awesome Movie Technologies We Want Science to Actually Create

Seen in: Star Trek

How many times have you wished for a teleportation machine to get you to work – just so you could sleep another 30 minutes? If all those wishes were nickels we probably could have funded the development of a REAL teleportation device by now.

However, because of the Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, a quantum theory which states you can either know the position or the speed of a particle but never both simultaneously, true teleportation of people and objects from one place to another will likely never see the light of day. That being said, some really smart scientists from Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland and the University of Michigan teamed up in 2008 and successfully “teleported” information from one atom to another atom (about 3 feet away). The process involves protons, lasers and lots of quantum math (read about it HERE).

-

12. Time Machine

Primer Time Machine 570x320 12 Awesome Movie Technologies We Want Science to Actually Create

Seen in: Doctor Who, Primer, Back to the Future

This is the “mostly likely never to happen” item on our list – but how cool would it be if time travel actually did exist? We could talk all day about the “Grandfather Paradox,” wormhole space theories, and debate routine time travel questions: could you only travel back to the point the machine was invented and could you go into the future (given that, technically, it hasn’t happened yet).

In reality, we all know if such a device ever existed we’d just go back to 9th grade to ask Bonnie out and play the winning lottery numbers multiple times anyway. In the meantime, this Iranian fellow, Ali Razeqi, claims to have built a working “time machine” that brings the future to you – well, okay then.

-

Conclusion

Doctor Who Tardis 570x320 12 Awesome Movie Technologies We Want Science to Actually Create

Will any of these items on our list actually become a reality in our lifetime? Maybe, maybe not. But at the end of the day, Hollywood and authors often inspire the explorer/scientist/mathematician in all of us to dream bigger and reach farther than we would otherwise – and that’s never a bad thing.

Of course, our list is not meant to be all-inclusive so be sure to let us know what movie ideas you’d like to see become a reality in the comments below.

___

Follow me on Twitter – @MoviePaul.

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:
TAGS: back to the future, doctor who, elysium, iron man, jurassic park, Men in Black, mission impossible, star trek, star wars

47 Comments

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.


If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it.

  1. The gloves could be a reality because there’s that long-established rumour that the military (especially those in the US, Russia and China) are at least 50 years ahead of the rest of us technologically. I’m pretty sure the US government is paying $52trillion for 2014′s Black Budget alone.

    The hover board….I dunno, if we could work out a way to use electromagnets in a way to repel something off the ground by using the Earth’s natural magnetism then that toy should follow soon after. It could also help reduse the cost of expensive jet fuel in short and long haul flights and change the air travel industry forever.

    • *reduce

    • Adding up all of the physical money, paper bills, metal coins, checking and savings accounts and CDs on Earth, totals about 60 trillion dollars. So don’t mind me if I’m skeptical that the black budget for the U.S. military isn’t 52 trillion a year.

      • Well, continue to be skeptical because being a black budget, no one will ever really know for sure and they sure won’t admit to it. Can you imagine the uproar it would cause if people found out that more money is being spent on secret military projects designed for defensive and offensive as well as scientific leaps than on the homeless, hungry and unemployed?

        I mean, it’s not as if you’re trying to counter a supposition based on rumour with actual fact there. Unless you actually did count every penny in the US using an abacus and never ending supply of pencils before coming up with that comment. Right?

        • @Dazz

          If only that were true… Unfortunately this government only knows how to cut military spending to waste on perpetuating to trap people in the welfare program… You do realize they know it doesn’t help anyone but keeps them voting for their side right? You give people free money you take away any drive or incentive for them to earn it themselves. Then you pretty much blackmail them with “vote for us or your free ride ends.” They help the politicians 100x more than they actually help the poor…

        • No, i’m basing my claims on what i’ve read from reliable economists and statements put out by the Federal Reserve. Our federal debt is at 16 trillion dollars and you are suggesting that this year alone we are going to add 52 trillion more, just in black budget defense. It’s absurd and completely illogical. If you want to hang on to a silly conspiracy theory, at the very least, attempt to suggest one that is even mathematically feasible. If not you just sound like David Icke suggesting that reptilians aliens have infiltrated all world governments in an attempt to enslave the human race. While no one can entirely debunk that, or the 52 trillion in defense spending claim you’re holding on to, it entirely removes any amount of legitimacy your comments have attempted to gain. Just because something sounds “right” to you doesn’t lend an support to it being realistic. Simply put, your assertions are pure fantasy based on nothing more than speculation of those who haven’t the faintest idea how the world really works. No fluoride isn’t used for mind control, no chemtrails don’t exist, no the U.S. government didn’t destroy the World Trade Center and no, the black budget defense for this year isn’t 52 trillion dollars. Stop listening to Alex Jones and grow up.

      • The derivative market alone before the bubble burst was in the quadrillions. You need to get updated info.

  2. Ending the article with the TARDIS, gotta love it!

  3. Cool, but A.I. and Robot Helpers all most always turn on us. Time travel would be scary, step on a snail in 1842 and come back to our time only to learn the whole world has changed. Think The Butterfly Effect, it never works out right.

    • That is not how time travel works, which is also why the idea of time travel is literally impossible. You cannot do something in the past that changes the present or future, otherwise the present would have happened like that in the first place.

      • Watch out, Electric Evil might come in and tell you that time travel is possible via some far out method and he’ll have a crazy theory to try and prove it, without facts but with a massively condescending tone.

      • So Aaron, if I’m understanding you correctly, you just explained that my joke on an impossible even was incorrect because it doesn’t adhere to the rules governing said impossible event?

  4. For Time Machines, I’d definitely prefer “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” or “Back to the Future” style

    • Anything but Primer. A bad film somehow elevated far above it’s station by cult status.

  5. I absolutely want a Neuralizer, but one that I could use on myself with predefined instructions. Then I could watch my favourite movies for the very first time over and over and over again. Good bye spoilers! :D

    As for transporters: I would never ever set foot in one of those. No one could convince me that it doesn’t just destroy me and doesn’t only create a copy of me on the other end that thinks it is me.

    • Love the reference to The Prestige.

      Great, underrated movie!

      • Yup, great movie indeed.

      • Great movie reference to one of the movies I’d love to see for the 1st time again! That plot twist is up there with the 6th sense in the “I didn’t see that coming, but they gave me so many hints!” catagory.

    • Yes! I have been saying that for years. I wish I could take a pill or something and then re-watch my favorite movies for the 1st time. Awesome.

  6. Aw, the bathroom shells a la Demolition Man didn’t make the cut? Oh well, maybe next time.

    • @Nedrud – I actually thought about those at first but after looking around, no one seems to know how they’re actually used, so I left them off lol.

      Paul Young

      • I have theory, but you DON’T wanna know!

  7. I was just saying yesterday that I would love something like JARVIS.

  8. I want the BATMOBILE!

    • Millennium Falcon!

  9. robotic clothes/body armor as seen in Iron Man, G.I. Joe, Avatar, and various video games. Who wouldn’t want this?
    To a point this is a real technology today though we’re probably a few decades from the really cool versions seen in the movies.

    • They revealed a loader exo-skeleton a few weeks ago at a technology fair that looked like a cross between Aliens and Elysium that allows you to lift 4 times your normal body weight or something similar (possibly more) then allowed journalists to test it out for themselves.

      I saw it on Click, the BBC’s tech show. Should still have the video on the site somewhere if you’re interested.

  10. I ´d wish a human can do the wonders Neo does on Matrix. like in reality. and not plugged into some system to actually make it happen.

  11. sonic screwdriver! (and one that does wood)

  12. No Jaegers or Iron Man/Mjolnir/powered suits???? I want those!

  13. One item I would like to add to this list would be the pill from Limitless.. Oh that would be amazing.. get soo much s*** done!

  14. If I remember correctly, the gloves were not electromagnetic… They were supposed to have like thousands of microscopic electronically controlled suction cups or something like that, which is why it works on any smooth surface and not just iron-rich materials… I could be mistaken though, it’s been a little while since I’ve seen that movie.

  15. In the hands of evil people these could all be turned on man/woman, so no I would not want to see these become reality lol.

  16. A time machine would be cool, but in the meantime, keep the nanobots outta my grundies!

  17. Time travel creates nothing but problems. So many bad things can happen form messing with time and space.
    And if you want to create dinosaurs, you have clearly ignored the message from the film.

  18. Never would have guessed the everlasting gobstopper would be on this list, FANTASTIC choice. :D

  19. Self sustaining fusion reaction from Eureka. Replicators from star trek. 2 things that can end a lot of wars in the world.

  20. I don’t believe a time machine in the traditional sense would work. However a time window to view past by tracing back light paths would be cool. Unfortunatly you would probably need to send a signal through a black hole to work and that would take a while

  21. breathing in liquid is already reality. Look it up on wikipedia “Liquid breathing”

  22. I would love to have a Delorean.(:

    • @Zach

      No, really you don’t… Trust me, it’s kind of sad that the car’s greatest achievement is something that lives in fiction…

  23. They need to make a true film about Nikola Tesla.

  24. For me – there’s only one: Lightsaber.

    (I know. “Lightsaber? You’ll cut your arm off, kid!”)

  25. I was honestly expecting a Sonic Screwdriver.

  26. Regarding #5 — I think we need to achieve advanced natural intelligence before we start worrying about artificial intelligence.

    • Don’t keep us waiting.

  27. #8 was successfully done decades ago.
    # 12 – Conservation of matter prohibits backward time travel, but it’s already known that one can travel forward in time at varying rates.
    # 11 – From what I’ve read, this would require more than the entire Earth’s output of energy to accomplish, along with doing several impossible things. They may become less impossible with time, but teleportation isn’t likely to ever happen. It did succeed in doing what it was originally intended for though. Star Trek’s budget didn’t have to bear the cost of showing ships landing on every planet they visited.
    # 5 – Give it ten years.
    # 3 – Electromagnets that adhere to glass? That would require magic.
    # 1 – Available in a store near you since 1971
    # 9 – Give it eleven years.