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7 Pieces of Real-Life Technology You Thought Only Existed In Movies

10/26/2012 04:15 EDT | Updated 10/26/2012 05:13 EDT
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LAS VEGAS - MARCH 30: Tourists walk behind a large model of the Bumblebee character from the movie 'Transformers' at the Paris Las Vegas during ShoWest, the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners, March 30, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

There’s a reason why people love science fiction: it’s the genre with some of the coolest stuff out there. Horror may get the hearts of movie-goers pumping, while a drama keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. Romances will be the ones that win the hearts of many, but it’s sci-fi that gets the mind going.

Science fiction just has that ‘wow factor’, be it in George Lucas’s concept of a galaxy far, far away or James Cameron’s vision of a world inhabited by blue aliens. Either way, they’re the kind of movies that fuel the creative juices of inventors across the world, some who have taken these ideas straight from science fiction and allowed for them to make the jump from the big screen to real life.

Check out the technology that made the leap from silver screen to real life

Real-Life Tech You Thought Only Existed In Movies

You’ve Got The Touch… Before touch screens became staples on smartphones and tablets, the technology seemed like a pipe dream that was only available in movies like Minority Report. Well, POSH View Media, a Calgary start-up, hopes to change that with their line of customizable touch-screen technology. According to the company’s website, they can create any touch-screen interface on a wide variety of surfaces, ranging from an office desk where workers can swipe and touch to collaborate on a project, to the home with a mirror embedded with an interactive surface where the user can find out the time or the weather.

Beam Me Up Scotty… While touch and technology go hand in hand, tapping isn’t far off. The technology behind near field communication is quickly entering the market. The most common application to date is with credit cards that require only a tap on a sensor instead of punching in a pin or swiping down a stripe. Cell phone companies are taking notice as more and more manufacturers are incorporating NFC chips to allow for the instant exchange of pictures, videos and contact information simply by tapping with another phone.

More Than Meets The Eye Those who grew up in the ‘80s and 90’s will remember the show ‘Transformers’ as part of their Saturday morning cartoons. For those too young to remember the origins of the franchise, the series was brought to the big screen three times thanks to director Michael Bay and now it looks like DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) is closer to bringing the robots in disguise to real life. Codenamed the Cheetah, the cat-like robot can’t transform but it bears a striking resemblance to one of the show’s characters, Ravage. Also worth noting is that the Cheetah can run as fast as 45km/h. It’s said the robot will be used for humanitarian projects and rescue missions, reports CBS.

Don’t Like Reality? So Change It Augmented reality refers to the idea that an object doesn’t physically change its surroundings, it adds or overlays extra information over it to change its appearance. It’s kind of like the technology pulled from movies such as Robocop when Peter Weller’s character walks into a room and various data on threat levels and hazards from his surroundings gets fed into his helmet. For a more kid friendly application, video games on smartphones and portable handhelds can utilize the devices camera to play games using the surrounding area as a backdrop.

I am Ironman… Sort Of Before Iron Man lit up the big screen, the most memorable example of an exo-skeleton in action was in Aliens when Sigourney Weaver’s character used the powerloader, a giant mechanized suit designed to lift heavy boxes and crates, to kick some serious xenomorph butt. That same butt kicking tech is now available in Japan as an exoskeleton that users can wear every day. They may look strange doing so but the suit’s ability to amplify the user’s strength up to 10 fold makes up for the fashion faux pas.

Talk To Me, Baby Before David Hasselhoff’s stint on Baywatch, the actor starred in a television show called Knight Rider, featuring a high-tech car capable of talking to its driver. While automakers are still working towards a car capable of fluid conversation, drivers can already take advantage of limited voice-interaction with technology in their cars, phones and GPS systems to do a variety of tasks like queuing up music or asking for directions.

This Is Not The Hoverbike You Are Looking For TRON had the light cycle but why ride a bike with LEDs for wheels when you can hover on the ground? Taking a page from “Star Wars: Return of The Jedi”, the hoverbike, created by California firm Aeroflex, uses two duct rotors to create a buffer of air between the ground and the craft as reported by the Daily Mail. It’s controlled using the pilot’s knees along with the rider’s weight which creates momentum to control the craft’s direction. Unfortunately the firm has no plans on selling the craft, dashing the hopes of any Imperial Stormtroopers looking to hunt down any rebel scum.