These days, every single thing we do seems to have been improved by technology. Businesses and consumers now rely on the internet to sell and buy products, respectively. According to eMarketer, we now spend over $1.5 trillion a year online. Whereas before to communicate we had to rely on snail mail or home phones, now we can literally speak to friends and family at any time, from anywhere. Technology defines our current age.
What if you were to learn that much of the technology we rely on today was actually inspired by fiction? Whether you’re talking about smartphones or hosted VoIP services, inventors and consumers of today owe the imaginative minds of the past a great debt of gratitude.
Three Modern Technologies and the Science Fiction That Inspired Them
- Mobile Phones
- Tablet Computers
- Voice over IP Services
Mobile phones, as DVice, a popular tech website, writes, were actually inspired by the original “Star Trek,” which ran from 1966 to 1969. Martin Cooper, the inventor of the first mobile phone, is known to have been a huge “Trekkie.” When asked about his revolutionary invention, Cooper said that after seeing Captain James T. Kirk use his handheld communicator to talk to his starship, he was inspired to create cellular phone technology. The rest, as they say, is history.
While the legendary Steve Jobs and Apple may have ushered in the age of tablet technology, the great minds at Apple can’t take all the credit. As the well-known technology blog AVMAX suggests, Stanley Kubrick first put the idea of tablet computers into the world in his 1968 epic “2001: A Space Odyssey.” In fact, when Apple was suing Samsung for their tablets being too similar, Samsung used a clip from “2001” to show that if Samsung was guilty of ripping off technology, then so was Apple.
Hosted VoIP solutions have quickly become one of the most popular business technologies in the world. Like tablets and mobile phones, however, Voice over IP services were first imagined in science fiction. In the universe created by George Lucas’s 1977 “Star Wars,” there is an internet-like technology known as the HoloNet. Through this technology, you can search for information and download and store data. You can also use the technology to communicate with others. In short, the HoloNet operates like Voice over IP services.
Are there any other technologies you can think of that got their start in science fiction literature or films?