Since the end of the Second World War, technology has made huge leaps and bounds, whether you’re talking about business tech, like hosted VoIP solutions, or medical applications, like prostheses. In this technologically vast age, businesses and private individuals can link into vast ethernet networks, connecting to video games, clients, news sources, and more. What we have today would have seemed like science fiction to the people of the past.
In truth, many of the technologies we rely upon were directly inspired by the science fiction of the past. Star Wars, in particular, inspired a generation of brilliant minds to create new weaponry, new IP based communications technologies, and so much more. Don’t believe me? Check out these four technologies that might not exist without the guiding light of George Lucas’s Star Wars universe.
Four Technologies That Might Not Exist without Star Wars
- Hovercraft Technology
- Hologram Projection and Manipulation Systems
- Advanced Robotics
- Voice over IP Services
When “Star Wars,” now known as “A New Hope,” first debuted in 1977, viewers were bombarded with a seemingly infinite array of new and impossible technologies. Luke Skywalker’s landspeeder, a type of hovering car, quickly became the talk of fans and scientists alike. Today, as IB Times writes, hover technology has ceased to be a construct of fantasy. Whether it’s the giant hovercraft that serve Hong Kong or Japan’s famous magnetic levitation trains, hover technology is real.
If you ask Star Wars fans about their favorite technologies from this sci-fi juggernaut, one of the most common responses would be “holograms.” In the fictional universe, characters good and bad communicate using holograms, three-dimensional images that function sort of like video phones. As NBC News points out, the U.S. military has been using similar technology for almost a decade, with hologram tech serving as a perfect medium for planning attack strategies and developing new military technology in a 3-D space.
Undoubtedly, Star Wars’ representation of robotics, particularly in the form of sentient droids, has been one of the most profound, albeit strange, contributions to the scientific world. 50 years ago, advanced robotics were only featured in hellish science fiction stories about the end of the world. Today, they’re used to build our cars, cook our food, and much, much more. According to statistics from Business Insider, Japan alone employs approximately 250,000 robots across multiple industries, with that number expected to climb to one million by 2025.
Voice over IP services provide businesses with high-end communications technology for a fraction of the cost of traditional telephony services. As you may have guessed, Star Wars inspired this technology, too. In the Star Wars universe, Voice over IP services exist in a technology known as the HoloNet. By using this technology, characters are able to download data, watch videos, and communicate via voice. That last part was the precursor to Voice over IP services.
What other technologies do you know of that were directly inspired and shaped by classic science fiction? Let us know in the comments below.