sci fi man

8 Ideas That Went From Sci-Fi to Reality

If you were to meet a person from a century ago and were to talk about the technologies from this day and age, they would look at you as if you were crazy. That is the level of advancement we have had over the years, but since we were alive while it happened, it is hard to think of a period where we couldn’t talk to each other with a touch of a button, travel around the globe and watch movies whenever we want.

Here are some of those technological ideas that were considered Sci-Fi in the past, but are now part of our everyday life.


Trying to explain the functionalities of a smartphone to people from the past would probably get you into a mental asylum. Checking the time, taking pictures, call other people, post a ‘selfie’ – whatever that means? It must clearly be some sort of sorcery.

The first phones were bulky, took time and effort to operate and were not even that popular when they first came out.

The Internet

We still have problems defining the internet today, and we have access t0 it. The idea of having some sort of platform to unify our knowledge of every subject seemed absurd, both in the near and distant past, yet here we are. Bonus points as a time traveler: explain to a farmer from the 10’s what a ‘meme’ is.

Artificial Intelligence

Sci-fiFilmmakers and writers have entertained the idea of AI since the ’50s, but it is now a reality. Perhaps not yet to the level that Isaac Asimov imagined, but impressive nonetheless. AI has begun replacing jobs that humans do, perform tasks faster and more accurately than us, in short they can beat us at our own game, quite literally, in the case of IBM’s Deep Blue.

Self-Driving Cars

It is hardly a Sci-Fi movie if it doesn’t include flying or self-driving (or both) cars, isn’t it? Such a vehicle was first imagined in the middle of the 20th century, and, while still limited, has become a reality today (even though they mostly function in cities). The future looks promising… and electric.

Artificial Limbs

A Sci-Fi idea that helped Luke Skywalker fight in Star Wars has now become a reality for amputees. This technology is so advanced, it can even allow those who use it to feel objects with their new arm.

Space Travel

The very idea of ‘reaching the stars‘ has already taken a poetic form over the years. This includes:

  • Space suits
  • Space stations
  • Rockets
  • GPS
  • Visiting other celestial bodies
  • Ion Engines

Basically, this whole sector was once only reachable through dreams and writing and has become in modern time a question of ‘how’ and not ‘if’.

3D Printers

Or ‘replicators’, for Star Trek fans, these wonders allow for the (somewhat) fast building of all sorts of objects. We are yet to see the potential of this technology, but it has allowed, as of late, the assembly of complex devices that can even be used in airplanes, cars and even the International Space Station.

Virtual Reality

virtual reality With the advent of movies like Ready Player One and Tron, this idea has, in the last 10 years or so, turned from futuristic oddity to present reality. It has not only entered the stage of the entertainment industry, but it also has practical applications in the medicine, engineering and architecture sectors.

Imagine the technologies we consider Sci-Fi today and how the people from 100 years in the future will look at us for thinking that: “Remember those barbarians in the 21st century? They couldn’t even upload their consciousness to the collective.”

As absurd as that sounds, that is how we view those who used to travel via wagons pulled by horses for weeks and months on end. Crossing the Atlantic in 1920? Around 2 weeks by steamship. With sailing ships? 1-2 months. Today? 8 hours or so, depending on your travel.

So, which technology we didn’t mention do you think will become a reality in the future?