“The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.”
“Imagination is more important than knowledge."
"Minds are like parachutes; they work best when open."
These three brief but brilliant insights by Albert Einstein make us stop, take a breath from this hectic life, and reflect on the path we are currently on. They make us wonder if there's a limit between science and the imagination.
Einstein is not the only visionary who has graced this planet. Filmmakers have also tried to bring to life the wildest and most unimaginable technological inventions. Things we had thought were impossible or never thought they could exist, like social media apps that connect us with the rest of the world through the simple tap of our fingertips, are now a reality. The Star Wars saga not only opened unconceivable possibilities on the cinema front, but also on the technological front. Therefore, today we want to list six fictitious inventions created by movies, but that actually exist today.
“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope. Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.” Thus, pleaded for help a tiny three-dimensional projection of princess Leia Organa. During the time when the movie came out, people thought holograms were something impossible, so the idea of a hologram that could make sound was even crazier. Nowadays, these images represent existing technologies. Holograms have even been used for multitudinous concerts. Michael Jackson, for instance, was "brought back to life" in front of a million people with a hologram performance.
2. Bionic limbs
Luke Skywalker's bionic hands replaced his original after he lost them in his duel against Darth Vader. This invention was also a vision ahead of its time. Although these devices are still too expensive, and only a few group of privileged people have access to them, this kind of technology is likely to continue changing the lives of thousands of people all over the world in the future.
3. Magnetic levitation
Episode I reveals an armored high-speed hovertrain capable of defying the laws of gravity by floating over a magnetic base. A train called Maglev, based on this technology, now exists in places like Japan and Shanghai in China, and transports thousands of people on a daily basis.
You know what they say: "reality is stranger than fiction." Robots nowadays may not be as charismatic as R2-D2, but they have an important foundation for development. Like in science fiction novels, their main function is to serve humans. Nowadays robots help us with either simple or complex tasks. For example, doctors now control robots that help them perform more precise surgeries in a shorter amount of time.
Lightsabers are sword-like weapons that absorb light and cut through any surface. When the first movies of the saga came out, it was not possible to encase light as it disperses through space. However, a Texas company has developed a similar military device: an plasma blade which is designed to help soldiers slice through locks and chains on the battlefield.
6. Head-up display
Star Wars also made us dream of transparent display screens in spacecrafts, like Luke Skywalker's X-Wing. Nowadays, many war aircrafts are equipped with transparent displays with precise and updated coordinates and their targets. Furthermore, some BMW models also have transparent displays that show speed and direction.
It is quite interesting to see how fictitious ideas inspired our current technology, but it is even more exciting to image how they will evolve in the future. Maybe what today seems impossible to us, just needs some time to become real.
Translated by Andrea Valle