?As technology invents and reinvents the way we live our lives and think about things, one thing is for sure: the future may never truly arrive — at least not how we want it to. As nerds, we’ve become accustomed to being teased with countless painfully plausible devices from our favorite movies, books and shows that at times seem like they’re only a year or two away from proper execution in our digital world, until we realize that it’s been five years since we read the article telling us that it was finally happening. Some of the fictionalized tech exhibited in this list isn’t necessarily from a futuristic timeline, but is futuristic to us since we don’t have it yet. Maybe one day we’ll get our mitts on this fine machinery, but until then, all we can do is hope. Hope, of course, and look to the future.
Daily List suggested by PossibleMisnomer.
10) Rocket Boots
?It would be easy to put a jet pack here, but as the natural evolution of propulsion technology along with being more stylish than a heavy metal backpack and probably less likely to burn your legs, rocket boots are just superior, so why not wish for the best? Most recently exhibited in Iron Man, the consumer version of rocket boots would be kind of like those shoes kids wear that have pop-out wheels, except these would have a point behind them. So you could play a cool game of rocket-frisbee AND escape the scene quickly after denting Dad’s car or breaking Mom’s expensive wind chimes, all with just your everyday shoes! Awesomeness.
9) The Universal Translator
?How wonderful would life be if we could instantly speak the language of anyone around us? No more years of arduous linguistic study to absorb another culture and its traditions, no sir. We’re taking the Captain Kirk way out here, which in case you haven’t heard, is always the best way. Bill Shatner’s Speech to Spoken Word Converter sold separately.
8) Power Lace Nikes
The Back to the Future movies cursed us with the knowledge of many awesome pieces of hypothetical future technology that might never be born into existence the way we want them to. Although still a stretch, the sweet automatically lacing Nikes from Back to the Future Part II seem to have the most potential of ever actually happening. That and you could actually see normal people wearing them since they’re the great grandchildren of those oh-so-awesome Pumps that clearly helped us all get into the NBA. Nike made a limited edition pair of sneakers posing as these things in 2008, and even though they’d still cost you somewhere between 6 to 10 times what a normal pair of Nike basketball shoes normally would, they don’t power lace. How un-awesome.
7) The Neuralyzer
?Imagine all of the things you could memory-wipe your way out of with one of these nifty gadgets from Men in Black — a bad interview answer, an awkward interaction with someone you have a crush on, spilling ketchup on yourself in the cafeteria…the possibilities are nearly infinite. And while it couldn’t be less ethical in most cases for the average citizen to be wielding one, we’d have a hard time not being first in line at Jack Jeebs’ universal pawnbroker shop once the Neuralyzer became available on the black market.
6) The Transporter
?While this is one technology we’d want to see absolutely perfected before we try it — lest we turn out like those poor souls in Star Trek: The Motion Picture — it’s hard to argue how perfect a wide-range transporter would be in our everyday lives. No more long commutes. No more planes. No more elevators. Outside of putting even more hard working people out of jobs they need, we can’t think of a reason not to get this thing invented already. Then again, getting to blame a traffic jam or broken down car for missing stuff we didn’t want to go to to begin with is a pretty important fail-safe.
5) Headjack Learning Technology
Imagine where we’d be as a society if we could bypass years of education simply by inserting a metal device through a port into the backs of our heads? Outside of being incredibly strange, we’d undoubtedly be hyper-advanced and get jobs doing technically complicated things as babies. It’s probably a good thing that The Matrix didn’t spend too much time on this topic when Neo learned Kung-Fu or when Trinity mastered flight of a helicopter both in a matter of minutes, as a “Matrix Babies” spin-off just doesn’t hold the same appeal for us.
4) The What-If Machine
Okay, a machine that tells us exactly what will transpire in any “what-if” scenario we dream up has to crack the list, and as a piece of Futurama lore invented by the singular Professor Farnsworth we’d deserve a beating not to include it, even if he “finely tuned” his invention with a hammer. It’s also activated in ever changing ways, including by use of a pull string, which is pretty spectacular in its own right.
3) The Holodeck
Okay, the long overdue Holodeck is clearly being held back for our own good, mostly because we don’t have the same self control as a society that the crew from Star Trek: TNG had to ever stop using it. Think about it for a minute — while Picard and company only turned to the Holodeck in moderation or to fulfill some training/mission objective, there’s probably a large percentage of us that would never actually leave these things, except to get real food and more money to power the Holodeck. Guys would clearly live out the rest of their natural lives in a Gotham City simulation as Batman and gals would never leave the overcast forest of the Twilight movies, holding on tightly to their perfectly pale Edward’s back as they become his virtual spider monkey eternal. The Holodeck would obviously be worse than cocaine or heroin for nerds, as we’re already commonly delusional with addictive personalities anyway.
2) Robot Pals
?Yes, there have been instances of robo-human interaction that exist to this very day, such as Mitsubishi’s Wakamaru, but we want a robot companion, like R2, Wall-E, Johnny 5, or Bender, not just a yellow subservient tin can that leads us in aerobics, sells us sweaters and reminds us when to take our medicine. Yes, we realize our demands probably necessitate some form of impossible robot soul technology, and yes, we realize we’re probably out of our damned minds since this kind of thinking is what got that whole Terminator problem started, but screw it, we still want one. At least it will be a fun last few years of freedom.
1) The Hoverboard
How many urban legends did we hear about hoverboards becoming a reality when the Back to the Future movies were at the height of their popularity in the late ’80s and early ’90s? “Yeah they’re making them, I’m getting one for Christmas!” Yeah right, universally relatable childhood friend named Tommy who had more toys than any kid on the street. Time has proven you to be a liar! Anyway, all issues regarding our youth aside, the answer is a lot — and although there have been plenty valiant attempts at achieving hoverboardfection since, none have come close to duplicating the coolness of the boards from the BTTF flicks. Unless hovering around on what just looks like a miniature version of an evergladian tourist airboat is cool now that is, which it probably isn’t. Considering it’s been over a 20 year wait, we’d even settle for the pink Mattel board Marty stole from that little girl — at least we could claim it to be “future-retro chic” as we boarded to and from class.