Top 25 Futuristic Things We Are Still Waiting For

Posted by , Updated on April 19, 2014

For the past century science fiction has been promising us a future filled with hoverboards, force fields, invisibility cloaks, and moon bases. Unfortunately your dreams of driving a flying car to work are probably going to remain unfulfilled for the time being, but you would be surprised how close we are to developing the technology required for most of the items on this list of 25 futuristic things we are still waiting for.
25

Jetpacks

25

Ever since Germany tried using them to launch soldiers over minefields in World War II, jetpack use has for the most part been limited to classy English spies and astronauts. This may be one of the first items to get bumped off this list, however, as Martin Aircraft Company in New Zealand just signed a multi million dollar deal to make them commercially available.

24

Virtual Reality

24

Sure, we already have this to some extent, but we’re talking Matrix level here – something that taps directly into brain. Given the advances we’ve seen in this department over the past few years though, it’s not too far off.

23

Augmented Reality

23

Not to be confused with virtual reality, augmented reality doesn’t replace the real world with a simulated one but simply enhances your experience by giving you some extra, computer generated feedback about it. Think Terminator vision. The coolest part about this however, is that it is probably closer to becoming a reality than almost anything else on this list with researchers at the University of Washington close to developing contact lenses that will give you bionic vision.

22

Meal Pills

22

As cool as it would be to never have to chew again, this one is likely to stay on this list for a while. On average you require around 2,000 calories every day, but even if you condensed all of that into calorie packed, fat filled pills you would still have to swallow over half a pound of them before going to sleep again. There is still hope, however, as scientists say they are close to coming out with chewing gum that somehow manages to simulate a three course meal.

21

Cyborgs

21

Depending on your definition of cyborg this may or may not already be a reality. In fact, there are numerous cases of people losing body parts only to have them replaced with mechanized versions. As far as running into RopoCop on the street though…that could still be a while.


20

Laser Guns

20

There is only so much you can do with bullets and in the future, where everything is bulletproof, the man holding the laser gun wins. Of course, while the military already has laser guns they only shoot invisible beams, which means you might as well just keep your bullets because no one will know you’re the cool guy holding the laser gun anyway (until we get to the bulletproof future of course).

19

Force Fields

19

The irony of everything being bulletproof is that in order to keep stuff from being destroyed everything also has to be surrounded by force fields. (Why? Go back and review the previous entry on lasers) On a serious note, however, this technology is more or less already being deployed on the battlefield. Some tanks are actually protected by a system that will detect an incoming projectile and dump a huge electric charge into the plating surrounding the vehicle effectively creating an electromagnetic field that repels the missile.

18

Jumpsuits

18

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld once noted that in the future fashion will be a thing of the past, and as every trekkie knows it’s only a matter of time before we’re all wearing that same silver one-piece jumpsuit.

17

Hologram Projectors

17

Yeah, we know these things already exist, but none of them are anywhere near the level of cool that shoots out of R2D2′s face. And besides, making 2D images appear to be 3D is kind of cheating. Maybe we just have to wait until someone comes out with…

16

Androids

16

Not to be confused with cyborgs, androids are 100% machine…no humans body parts included. What they do have in common, however, is that they are both very near to becoming a reality with huge advances over the last several decades in implementing artifial intelligence.

15

Underwater Cities

15

Ever since Plato mentioned Atlantis thousands of years ago humanity has eagerly anticipated either the discovery or construction of massive underwater empires. Unfortunately our hopes have been dashed repeatedly by the fact that the water pressure on the bottom of the ocean is far too great for anything but specially engineered submersibles to withstand. There are, however, numerous underwater resorts popping up around the world (see #2 in our list of the 25 coolest hotels ever)

14

Lunar Cities

14

Although these may sound less feasible than their underwater counterparts, the truth is that we are a lot closer to seeing babies born on the moon than on the ocean floor. And for one, at least we’ve already walked on the moon…or have we?

13

Flying Cars

13

While it’s understandable that we wouldn’t have some of the things on this list yet (time travel, teleportation), flying cars have been somewhat of a disappointment. And it’s not like we don’t have the technology (plane + car = flying car), so we have to assume that the government is hoarding them all. See our list of the 25 most popular conspiracy theories.

12

Food Particlizers

12

Although some of you may have had fantasies about your microwave just popping food out of thin air like in the Star Trek universe, for all intents and purposes matter cannot be created or destroyed (apart from the craziness that is quantam mechanics), so unfortunately, as with lightsabers (#10), this is one of the less feasible items on this list. NASA is, however, in the process of potentially developing a compact cooking machine that could store ingredients and much like a 3D “printer” output complete food products on demand.

11

Antigravity

11

There is probably not even one person reading this list that didn’t dream about flying when they were little. Although a more realistic hope for your childhood dreams coming true would probably be #25 (jetpack) there are several technologies out there that do simulate antigravity to some extent (see #14 on our 25 fastest things in the universe).

10

Laser Swords

10

The only other weapon on this list besides #20 (laser guns), they are unfortunately no where near the feasability level of laser guns. In fact, they violate so many laws of physics that we are closer to experiencing teleportation than lightsabers.

9

Hoverboards

9

Although the Mythbusters did manage to pull one of these together using a surfboard and a leafblower, it’s still going to be a while before we get to fly around on Marty McFly’s Back to the Futurehoverboard.

8

Hyperdrive

8

As you may have seen in our article detailing 25 crazy facts about the universe, faster than light travel is for all intents and purposes impossible (at least for now). Using something called wormholes, however (think shortcuts through space),it may be possible to jump from one extremely distant spot to another. Sounds kind of like teleportation (#3) doesn’t it?

7

Exosuits

7

Seen in everything from Avatar to Iron Man, the future would be a huge let down without a solid selection of mechanized armor on store shelves. Fortunately for us, things are looking good as there are already some amazing exoskeletons being employed in everything from the military to medical rehabilitation facilities.

6

Neuralizers

6

How many times in your life have you messed things up and just wished that you could start over? This is exactly why those lit memory blasters from Men in Black would be so useful. Unfortunately however, while some experts confirm that flashes of light could theoretically be used to erase memories, it seems that for the time being your past mistakes are just going to have to haunt you.

5

Medical Tricorders

5

In what will inevitably become the WebMD of the future and give birth to an entirely new generation of hyperchondriacs, scientists are already developing the technology that will one day diagnose our diseases.

4

Invisibility

4

A staple of almost every sci-fi universe ever, invisibility is not nearly as impossible as it seems. The basic premise is that light must be redirected around whatever object your are trying to cloak. Military researchers are surprisingly close to achieving this, at least with longer wavelengths of light, meaning that armies in the near future may be very difficult to spot.

3

Teleportation

3

Second only to time travel, there are few technologies more anticipated than teleportation. Although it seems to be a far out idea, there is actually quite a bit of research being done on the subject and scientists have in fact already performed quantum teleportation (teleporting subatomic particles). Unfortunately though, humans will still be a while so you had better get used to being frisked at the airport.

2

Time Travel

2

There is probably nothing more ubiquitious in science fiction than the idea of traveling back and forth through time. Of course, while traveling backwards in time would lead to numerous paradoxes (could you go back and kill yourself?), traveling into the future seems to be much more feasible (see #2 in our list of 25 crazy facts about the Universe)

1

Postapocalyptic Landscape

1

Possibly one of the most ubiquitious themes in science fiction, we’ve been promised one of these so many times that many of you are probably starting to get disillusioned thinking that maybe it will never happen. While that’s fine (it will just leave more resources for the rest of us) consider this your warning » 25 things you need for the zombie apocalypse.

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