We created a fun quiz to test your knowledge! See if you know which technology from popular sci-fi TV and movies exists already and which is just Hollywood CGI and wizardry.
Spoiler alert: The answers are below, so be sure to take the quiz first!
1. Star Trek‘s Holodeck: Science fiction or science fact?
Fact! Augmented reality rooms similar to the Holodeck are being used for a variety of applications. For example, retail giant Lowe’s partnered with Singularity University to develop a Holoroom, a virtual reality home improvement design and visualization tool that provides homeowners an immersive, intuitive experience to create the room of their dreams. Image credit: Lowe’s Innovation Labs
2. Star Trek Replicator: Does it exist?
Yes! Better known as a 3D printer, the replicator exists. Although 3D printers cannot (yet) create food, today’s technology is able to create machine parts, prosthetics, homes, and soon, human organs. Singularity University portfolio company Made In Space uses 3D printers to create parts in space for the International Space Station! NASA is using the Made In Space technology to make items in space rather than having to launch them. Image credit: Made In Space
3. The Men in Black Neuralizer: Is this tech real?
No! Although the ability to zap someone and alter their memories could come in handy in certain situations, it’s a good thing the neuralizer doesn’t exist.
4. The Jetsons’ Robot Vacuum: Is it real?
Yes! Sure, iRobot’s Roomba cleans your floors and fascinates cats everywhere, but it’s poised to do so much more. Roomba will play a key role in the future of the smart home—in addition to being compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, the company is introducing new abilities to collect “spatial data.” Image credit: Wikimedia
5. Iron Man’s Exoskeleton: Does it exist?
Yes! The exoskeleton technology featured so memorably in Iron Man, Aliens, and Edge of Tomorrow all endow humans with superhuman abilities. After years of development, the first actual exoskeleton suits are finally a reality. This technology is helping people with disabilities enjoy restored mobility, and it’s also being used in military and industrial realms, as well. The Special Operations Command future combat exoskeleton prototypes, expected in 2018, were inspired by the Iron Man movies. Also, Ford workers at two U.S. factories are testing upper-body exoskeletons developed by Ekso Bionics designed to reduce injuries and increase productivity. Image credit: Ford
6. Star Trek Transporter: Science fiction or science fact?
Fiction! Sadly the transporter does not exist. While it would allow us to avoid countless hours of commuting in traffic, based on our current understanding of physics, it does not seem likely that such technology will ever come to fruition. However, there are some scientists who haven’t ruled it out.
7. Minority Report’s interactive UI: Does this tech exist?
Yes! Microsoft’s HoloLens devices are based on a visor composed of layers which provide a stereoscopic 3D real-time vision through techniques based on holography, allowing its user to interact with 3D objects in an augmented reality. Fun fact: Singularity University’s Director of Design, Jody Medich, was the Principal UX Designer for the HoloLens! Image credit: Promotional image of the HoloLens technology by Microsoft
8. Dick Tracy communicator watch: Does it exist?
Yes! Computing power that used to require a computer the size of an entire room can now fit on our wrists. Thanks to Apple Watch and other smartwatches, consumers can call, text, navigate, browse the web, monitor their health, and much more. Oh, and find out what time it is.
9. Interstellar and Passengers Hibernation pods: Real or imaginary?
Real! While not yet in use for humans, there are companies working on hibernation technology for space travel. Using a technique called “therapeutic hypothermia,” the pods will lower the users’ core body temperature, reducing metabolic functions by as much as 70%. Image credit: SpaceWorks
10. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi Hoverbike: Science fact or science fiction?
Fact! Los Angeles-based Aerofex has developed technology that provides vertical thrust for unmanned and manned aerial vehicles and the tech has been proven in flight. Image credit: Aerofex
Our 10x Strategy Development solution will help you gain a better understanding of how your competitive landscape is changing thanks to very real technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotech, sensors, and digital biology. This highly interactive program will help you explore, envision, and unlock the future of your organization.
You might also be interested in our 10x Innovation Sprint solution that is designed to help you bring breakthrough ideas to market faster. As part of this solution, we offer workshops that apply science fiction storytelling to help you and your innovation team start building products and services today for your customers of tomorrow.