Remember all the science-fiction movies you used to watch when you were a kid, dreaming of better, shinier days? Everybody wore advanced clothing that kept them warm and dry in any situation, and they carried around gadgets that did just about anything the plot required of them at that moment. For many of us, those movies inspired us to make a new and better future for all of humanity. And the keys to that future are gadgets.
Are you ready for the future? I know for me, if I can get my hands on even a fraction of these things, the answer is a resounding, heartfelt yes. I feel like I’ve been ready for some of these things my whole life. All of these gadgets are on the horizon – and some of them are already here.
1. Skywall Drone Catcher – You know the future is here not just because drones are everywhere, but because somebody has developed a device to safely knock them out of the sky.The Skywall looks like a bazooka, but it just launches a net that captures an annoying drone, unfurling a parachute so that it all lands softly and safely. Hey, as long as nobody intercepts my Amazon deliveries, amirite?
2. Sensorwake Alarm Clock – Alarm clocks have been around for ages, so what’s so new about this one? Instead of waking you with a sharp, abrupt noise, this one wakes you with a welcoming aroma.Who would want to wake up to ringing bells when they could wake up to the fresh scent of bacon cooking, coffee brewing, or croissants baking, without having to get up and do any of those things?
3. Hydra-Light Lantern and Charger – Beaches are great, unless you want electricity. But the Hydra-Light changes that, turning saltwater into power.You can use it as a light source, or you can charge any USB device through it.
4. Foldable Phones – And we’re not talking flip-phones, these are full-screen smartphones that can fold up.Samsung has been working on them for a while now and has even filed a patent, so they could be here as early as 2017.
5. Robot Chef ArmsSeriously getting into Jetson house stuff now, these robotic arms developed by Moley Robotics can prepare up to 2,000 meals that you can select from a menu on your phone.
6. Laundroid – Folding laundry is one job I will happily surrender to robots, and I know I’m not alone in that.The Laundroid from Japan’s Seven Dreamers Laboratories puts one more tedious, boring chore in the capable, if cold, hands of a robot, and it can’t get into my home fast enough. I don’t care how it works as long as it does work.
7. LG Signature Fridge – Knock on the panel, and you can see what’s inside the fridge without opening the door!Talk about revolutionizing the indecisive prowling when you’re in the mood for a snack but don’t know what you want.
8. ModiFace Mirror – This mirror shows you what you would look like with various different combinations of makeup, without having to shell out for the actual makeup or take the time to apply it.Talk about a time and money saver!
9. Skype’s Universal Translator – Skype developed an artificial intelligence that can turn up to eight spoken languages into 50 text languages. And it even gets smarter about how to translate things the more it hears particular languages and dialects.You thought it was just in Star Trek – or, if you prefer, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – that even aliens could understand each other all the time? Not anymore.
10. DNA Data Storage – We were once told that to store all the things we know, we’d have to build a stack of hard drives that could reach the moon. However, with the breakthrough of researchers at Microsoft and the University of Washington, the entire Internet could be stored in something the size of a shoe box.They managed to encode 200 megabytes of information in DNA molecules, both storing it and retrieving it, showing huge promise to ease the burdens of current, overwhelmed data storage.
11. Gloves with Synthetic Fingerprints – Sounds so simple, I know, but at long last, someone has come up with a way for us to use our phones without taking off our gloves.No more frosty fingers texting and swiping clumsily. Finally!
12. 3D-Printed Casts – No more bulky, itchy casts! These combine the initial X-Ray with a 3D scan of the arm to build a precisely fitting cast that supports vulnerable areas.
13. Smart Contact Lenses – There are a number of variations in development, from lenses that will monitor your health to those that will take pictures and provide a heads-up display, to those that will improve vision so you can zoom in from a distance.With the dollars being poured into smart lenses and the patents that have already been filed, it’s only a matter of time until we all have super-spy vision. These casts don’t just look cool – they also incorporate the latest technology to provide maximum support with minimum intrusion.
14. The RYNO – Unicycle meets motorcycle meets Segway in this intriguing solution for short commutes in the city.It’s one of those things where you know even if you look silly riding it, it’s going to be a ton of fun.
15. Hoverbikes – And it’s about time, isn’t it? Haven’t we been expecting these for a couple of decades now? You can thank the mad scientists at Aerofex, whose Aero-X looks like a cross between a Star Wars speeder-bike and a helicopter.Word has it that they can go up to 45 mph and 10 feet off the ground, so helmets seem like a wise investment if you’re going to make your hover-dreams come true.
Don’t fight the future, it’s here to help!What gadget would you most like to see in the future?