REAL Sci-Fi gadgets

I know of certain things first postulated in TV and the movies which have come to pass:
Space travel, computers, automatic doors, wireless communication, lasers, etc.

What real items do you know of first invented in science fiction?

Isn’t there like a hypospray prototype based on (or similar to) the ones used in the Star Trek series?

Tons of em

My Dad got needleless spray injections in the Air Force in the early '50s, they pre-date Star Trek.

The waterbed was invented by Heinlein. Communications satelites were invented in an early SF story by a famous author but I can’t remember who now…I’m thinking Clarke but I don’t think I’m right.

Ray guns in SF came long before the invention of the laser, but the details of how they worked don’t really have anything to do with the real thing.

Spacecraft were in SF long before anyone thought it practical to put a person in space.

Gee, the more I think about it the more I can think of. A lot of inventions were probably inspired by SF.

I’m personally amused by the fact that the 3 1/4" floppy disks are almost exactly the same size as the disks used in the original Star Trek TV series. And they come in similar funky colors, too.

But this topic is so broad… I remember reading a short story back in 1980 about the horror that would become cell-phones, and the fate of a man who just wanted some time to himself, not being in touch with the world.

Geosynchronous satellites. Reality TV shows. Two-way wrist radios. Robot dogs.

And the year 2001 started off with the Pope coming out against cloning.

This must be the future. Whee!

Badtz, Clarke came up with geosynchronous satellites, if I’m not mistaken.

Heinlein also provided us with waldoes–even the name stuck.

Wireless web-connected devices are widely available now–presaged by wireless links to worldwide data networks in SF. The regrettable Cyber Way by Alan Dean Foster springs to mind–he called the widgets “spinners”. I don’t recall the reason, but they did connect to the “web”.

There are many others, of course.

And, yet, man has yet to utilize water spouts as a form of space travel…

Hell, laptop computers are pretty damn scifi if you ask me. A 4 lb computer you can take anywhere that outperforms the most powerful supercomputer from 40 years ago…?

Thanks SPOOFE, you just proved that it is dangerous to laugh with a mouthful of peanut butter and saltines…WHY, I OUGHTA…

1.) Edward Everett Hale wrote “The Brick Moon” and a sequel in the 1860s (I think) about an artificial satellite placed into orbit (it may have been geosynchronos) for navigation purposes. It was made of ceramic material (just lik the shuttle tiles) to avoid problems with atmospheric friction.

2.) Jules Verne gets a lot of credit for the submarine, the moon shot, etc. but he also has a heavier-than-air flying machine built of composites in Robur the Conqueror and rubber survival suits for the sea (with lots of survival gear attached) in Tribulations of a Chinaman. He also had the first call for rescue by radio in The Barsac Mission and the first case of Spernatural Effects actually caused by Science in Carpathian Castle

3.) One of the most famous cases was The Atomic Bomb, which H.G. Wels wrote about in The World Set Free. Leo Szilard, who arguably invented the atomic bomb, admitted that he had been inspired and influenced by Wells’ book.

4.) Heinlein wrote about light switches tht automatically turned on when people entered the room, an shut off when hey left. We now have such systems. In the film Operation Moonbase (scripted b Henlein)one of the wonderfully underplayed details is the telephone. If you look closely you notice that the handset isn’t conncted to the base – there’s a small antenna on each, just as in the phone on my wall now.

5.) Isaac Asimov bragged (in a lcture I attended in 1976) bout getting the term “pocket calculator” correct in Foundation. “I even got the color of the numbers right,” he noted. The book talked about a glowing red display, which was the norm for pocet calculators like the HP-35, with its red LED displays. But the power-hungry LEDs ere replaced by more efficient yellow-gray LCD displays, so Asimov went out of fashion again.

6.) Murray Leinster (Will F. Jenkins) described the nternet with astonishing accuracy in A Logic Named Joe, published in the late 1940s (but reputedly written in 1945) – Chaos erupts when the censorship controls are circumvented by a unit that becomes self-aware, and people begin downloading instructions on how to commit the perfect murder, security diagrams for banks, locating people who don’t want to be found, etc. Kids start downloading pornography. Uncannily accurate. One of the very few stories to REALLY predct the impact of computers on veryday life.