11 Science Fiction Inventions That Are Available Now


Reddit, that eternal spring of cool information that only comes up when you get such a diverse collection of people into one place to talk about the things they are interested in, started a discussion yesterday with the question “What are some of the most mind-blowing recent advancements that most people still don’t know about yet?” And, as always, the results were pretty freaking cool.

1. SpaceyCoffee

Nanofiber salt filters. Once they bring the price down, living near the ocean will mean limitless virtually free fresh water, for the first time in human history.
This will completely change the world

2. moby323

I work in a hospital laboratory. The advancement of PCR technology is pretty damn amazing.

Before, to identify the source of an infection or illness (i.e. which bacteria) we had to harvest the organism and then grow it on Petri dishes containing different nutrients and inhibitors. By seeing in which dishes it grew, and its characteristics, we could narrow it down. Then we would perform many biochemical tests (does it turn blue when we add this, does it fizz when we add this etc. ) until we could finally identify the organism. This process can take several days and requires a fair amount of expertise by the lab tech.

Now, for some the most common pathogens, we have a Polymerase chain reaction machine. What it does is amplify and measure the organism’s DNA so it can determine with high precision exactly which organism it is causing the infection. It can detect the organism even if there is only a single strand of its DNA present.

How simple it is to use is fucking insane: you swab the patient with a sterile q-tip, then you stick the q-tip in a cartridge. Then you pop the cartridge in the machine and close it. Come back in about 30 minutes for your answer. It is hardly more difficult to operate than a Keurig and it is the size of a microwave. I still sometimes just look at the thing and shake my head in wonder.

3. Biggumms

There is a device that is being clinically tested and it can detect cancer cells and snatch it up. It mimics a jellyfish and “snatches” them straight from the blood stream

4. positional

E-paper. Bendable, thin, the same size and weight as paper, they’re like touchscreen tablets except they can be rolled up and put in your pocket. They even have apps: photo applications, document editors, newsreaders.

Perhaps, in the future, flexible e-paper wristwatches that you can just slap on will exist, with the capabilities of smartphones. Or portable posters doubling as computers.

5. kloron

Are you paying attention to the mass collection of data for use in interesting ways?
Apple iPhones, Google Android devices and Windows 8 phones look for WiFi they can connect to … and send the lists back to head office.

These companies keep a worldwide database of WiFi points, which ones are nearby, and if you have GPS on, where they were seen.

Now when you switch on location to find yourself on a map on a tablet without GPS, it looks for wifi signals and asks head office “I see these wifi signals, where am I?”.

Worldwide location information quietly collected from millions of people, crept into existence in really good quality, over the past few years since smartphones came out.

This is not amazingly complicated, but it is amazing by scale.

6. lordnikkon

Graphine Supercapacitors with new ways of making graphene that are finally cheap enough for mass production we may soon see large supercapacitors that make electric cars really viable. A super capactior can hold that same amount of electricity as a battery but yet only takes a few seconds to charge. Imagine an electric car that had few hundred mile range and you could pull into a charge station and fully recharge in 60 seconds.

Super capacitors will replace batteries within the next 10 or 20 years. The only down side of a capacitor is it slowly drains even if not in use. Currently the charges can last for few weeks or even a month without any use or charging. But even things like your cell phone will become lighter and you will be able to charge them in seconds

7. teoSCK

Storing data in DNA. The idea that living things will be able to transport information in the same code that determines their very existence is awe inspiring.

8. Red_White_And_Proud

How futuristic the F-35 is. Whether it’s a money sinkhole or not, the technology is un-fucking-real. I spoke with the Canadian test pilot from the RCAF and he said some cool features were looking into your lap can connect your HUD to cameras allowing you to look “through” the plane, there’s only 15 buttons on the entire aircraft, the rest are motion, voice, or touch-screen activated, looking at several targets in a row can queue multiple locks, and that a system that is almost identical to JARVIS from Iron Man had been in design for it for quite some time. The pilot said these were only some things he said were cool and that he believes it will spur a new era of aviation technology.

9. sva988

The shift into quantum-mechanics with regards to Moore’s Law (transistors).
In essence this has to do with transistors. Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors in a circuit or CPU (correct me if I’m wrong) will double every 18 months (more or less).
Obviously this means that the transistors have to become smaller. In-so- doing, the layout of transistors has to change. The insulation between keeping the electrons segregated from the rest of the system has to become thinner. At some point the insulation will become so thin that quantum-mechanics will come into play. In more detail the electrons will spontaneously jump “through” the insulation, also called “quantum tunneling”, making the insulation obsolete.
So engineers and physicists will have to come up with a way to either circumvent the effects of quantum-tunneling (highly unlikely) or completely re-design the way the internals of a computer will work.

For a better description, search youtube for: “veritasium” and “transistors.”

10. hopelesseelsfan

Graphene. A sheet of it 1 atom thick can support up to 3kg before breaking, that’s so thin it is invisible and it is extremely strong, light and cheap. It’s like a heap of mini nokias

11. SwirlPiece_McCoy

We are on the verge of developing printers that can successfully cancel print jobs.
I know it sounds like something from Star Trek, but within a few decades it will be a reality.

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image – Gajitz