11 Sci-Fi Gadgets From Film and TV We Wish Were Real

photo by VICTOR HABBICK © Science Photo Library

Decades ago, viewers were fascinated with a device from Star Trek called the Tricorder. Now we have those devices in the form of mobile phones. With that in mind, there are a few other fictional devices from movies and television that should follow in the Tricorder’s path. So if there is a Santa Claus of breakthrough technologies, here is a list of items he needs to get cracking on.

Lightsaber from Star Wars

Do I really have to explain why it would be cool to have a lightsaber? It’s a laser sword that can cut through anything. It has a million uses. Want to open that can of beans? FWOOM! Is the car door frozen shut? FWOOM! A large building is in your way? FWOOM! Haircut? FWOOM! The government really needs to get off their butts and invent this already. Never mind the fact that light can’t simply end at sword length. This is too important for physics to get in the way.

TARDIS from Doctor Who

While the TARDIS’ ability to time travel is pretty cool, what is more impressive is the ability to contain a large time-traveling machine room in a police box. The TARDIS allows for something small on the outside to contain a large space inside. Do you have any idea how much space this would save? No longer do you have to worry about closets being filled to capacity with Christmas decorations and board games. Wait, forget closets, imagine the amount of apartments you could wedge into a single building. You could house an entire college worth of students in a dorm the size of a laundry mat.

Memory Neuralizer from Men in Black

How many times have you ever tried to impress that girl you had a crush on and accidentally said the wrong thing? Want to give it another shot? Wipe her mind and try again until you have perfected your pitching woo technique. Whether you made that mistake 3 minutes or 3 years ago, the Memory Neuralizer lets you erase a person’s memory from any point in time and reshape it to your liking. This could essentially turn anyone into a real charmer through trial and error. Just make sure you have your Ray-Ban sunglasses onto block the flash less your memory be erased as well and you mistake the Neuralizer for an instant camera. Oh and don’t let the cops catch you using it. I’m pretty sure if this were real it would be outlawed.

Holodeck from Star Trek

What if you could go back in time and screw with it at your leisure without the threat of a paradox? Holodecks are the perfect tools for those who get bored of video games too easily. Is this wild west setting getting to boring? Let’s see how King Arthur would react if we inserted him into that scenario. Best of all, it is completely safe with the exception of the occasional reality being bent to make fake characters real. But with today’s firewalls that will probably never happen…I think.

Recall Implants from Total Recall

What is even better than a Holodeck vacation? How about a vacation that lasts a week, but only lasts a few hours? The Recall Implants do this by implanting a memory of the vacation in your brain so you believe you’ve been gone two weeks. Not to mention it feels more real since the vacation is in your mind and not a hologram. Of course, there is always the chance that your brain will get scrambled or you’ll lose your identity Phillip K. Dick style. But as long as it doesn’t mean a tumor, Recall Implants don’t sound that bad.

Food Synthesizer from Star Trek

The microwave isn’t fast enough! I want to be able to simply tell a computer what I want and it’ll materialize just like that. You don’t even have to specify the exact food. All you have to do is request Human Supplement #112 and it’ll instantly know you mean Chipotle. No more long arguments about ‘what is for dinner’ or ‘I don’t wanna cook’. This could also put an end to world hunger and bring about a new wave of obesity. But, hey, it is easier to eat less than starve to death.

Faster Than Light (“FTL”) Drive from Battlestar Galactica

Grandma’s house is three hours away? Not with Jump Drives. Fire these engines up, shout ‘JUMP’ and you are INSTANTLY transported to the specified location. The benefit of this is the end of air travel. Take that, Delta and your stale pretzels. Think about being able to log on to Google Maps and instantly arrive at your destination. It would make bar hopping incredibly easy and no danger of drunk driving. Though you could get drunk enough to jump into some weird location like Antarctica. The only real drawback is that your relatives can visit you anytime they feel like it without warning and multiple times. Maybe it’s better that this one stay fictional.

Translator Microbes from Farscape

As a solution to the eternal question of how every alien in space can somehow speak and understand English, Farscape had characters who were injected with Translator Microbes. When colonized at the base of the brain, one can understand every language. This essentially destroys the language gap, thus rendering all translator jobs obsolete. This technology should be real just so people can stop wasting their college life majoring in French.

Voight-Kampff from Blade Runner

The whole point of the Voight-Kampff is to monitor the dilation in the iris and probe the subject with moral questions to prove if they are human and not a replicated clone. While we don’t have actual clones, I still wish this were real so I could test it on certain people who I do not believe are human. People like Nicholas Cage.

The Cyberbrain from Ghost in the Shell

How cool would it be to access Facebook, update Twitter and text message your friends…from your brain? The Cyberbrain allows you to do all of this without even moving your hands. This is the ultimate multi-task device that could bring down Apple, Android and Windows Phone 7 in a heartbeat. Roger Ebert has actually thought thought about this as a reality. Surprisingly, this is the one gadget on this list that not only seems possible, but also the most dangerous. Imagine the multitude of accidents that would be caused from people trying to drive and watch Netflix in their left eye. College students will cheat on every test by simply pulling up the answers from the internet. Teenage girls will have no need to even move their bodies as they can text with as little as a thought. If you have A.D.D. and the Cyberbrain is invented, your life is over.

Targeted Memory Erasure from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Yeah, I know, we already have the memory neuralizer pen, but that lil humdinger takes out ALL memories from a certain period of time. The procedure in Michel Gondry’s 2004 flick starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet is the focused erasure of memories, particularly unwanted and painful memories, and it is a mild form of brain damage which is comparable to a “night of heavy drinking”. Recent research has shown it is possible to successfully erase selective memories in lab mice. Such a procedure may lead to cures of post-traumatic stress.

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