Which Technology Was Originally Predicted by a Science Fiction Writer?
A dystopia is a dehumanising and terrifying imagined community or society, and dystopian narratives frequently depict strength and rebellion in the face of totalitarian regimes or survival in a post-apocalyptic environment. The opposite of a utopian society is a dystopian one.
Some of the most famous predictions of future technology can be traced back to the classic stories of One Thousand and One Nights and Aladdin. These works envisioned flying vehicles and even included a flying carpet. Hugo Gernsback, one of the most famous science fiction writers, predicted flying cars in 1911 with Ralf 124C 41+. Today, Gernsback is considered a visionary science fiction writer and is the recipient of the Hugo Award, the world’s highest honor in science fiction.
A science fiction novelist originally predicted the atomic bomb almost three decades before it was ever detonated. The great HG Wells was deeply concerned about the possibility of the Nazis working on atomic weapons and predicted the development of aerial bombardment and a devastating world war in his novel The Shape of Things to Come. Wells’ letter to President Roosevelt led to the Manhattan Project.
The atomic bomb was developed in the United States and used to end World War II. While the conventional bombing of Tokyo and other major cities was less disastrous, the atomic bomb proved an effective tool. While the atomic bomb is often remembered for its role at the war’s end, it was not without its detractors. Despite their disbelief, the atomic bomb remains a symbol of progress.
The first science fiction representations of nuclear war didn’t consider the realities of a nuclear explosion. As a result, these stories often exaggerate and unrealistic effects of a nuclear war. However, science fiction writers from the 1940s and 1950s were more realistic in their predictions and depictions of the event. As a result, the best works of science fiction from that period have a scientific orientation. But the atomic bomb was not exactly predicted by science fiction writers.
A science fiction writer, David Gerrold, predicted the arrival of mobile phones in 1999. The award-winning author is known for creating the classic Star Trek episode The Trouble With Tribbles. Gerrold’s article appeared in Sm@rt Reseller; a magazine published eight years before the first iPhone hit the shelves in 2007.
Throughout history, science fiction writers have tried to foresee the future. Although some predictions haven’t quite come to pass, some have. Here is a list of some of the technologies that were first predicted in science fiction:
Videophones and videoconferencing technologies have been in science fiction for quite some time. Today, video calls are commonplace with FaceTiming, Skype, and Zoom. Similarly, autonomous cars made their debut in a science fiction novel in 1930, “Paradise and Iron” by Miles J. Breuer. Although these vehicles are not legally allowed to drive, autonomous cars have been present in many future scenarios since then.
Another example is the use of earphones in mobile phones. Bradbury’s 1953 book Fahrenheit 451 predicted the use of thimble-like earphones in the future. By 2024, speech recognition technology will replace the need to type. Its use is set to reach $21.5 billion by 2024. And with these advancements, Bradbury’s predictions come true.
US writer Craig Browning first suggested the idea of robotic chess players. In his novel “Armageddon,” three Asian men play the game, terrorizing tourists. Another science fiction writer Stephen L. Burns references chess in his work, but this isn’t the only author to reference the game. Scientists are examining the idea and are developing new technologies.
Chess robots were initially envisioned as being capable of beating human players. A famous science fiction writer predicted that someday, a machine would be able to beat humans. The first computer, Deep Blue, beat a human opponent, Garri Kasparov, in 1997. The victory was considered a fantastic development in computer science. In the years since the human players behind the AI systems have improved, we can expect the next generation of computers to play chess better than a human.
Robots were first proposed in F&SF stories in the eighteenth century. In the 18th century, the first automata were puppets, clockwork dummies, and showpieces. The stories in which robots fought humans were hoaxes and often involved diabolism. In the early twentieth century, robots were given agency, but this didn’t mean they would fight humans.
You may have heard that a science fiction author predicted Apple’s earbuds, but did you know that Ray Bradbury predicted the invention of earbuds? Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451, which describes the future where people wear electronic devices in their ears. The novel is set in a dystopian future in which books are banned, and the only way to communicate is by wearing an electronic device in your ear. The futuristic device was also mentioned in the novel Martian Chronicles, a work of science fiction that warns us of the consequences of nuclear war.
Ray Bradbury predicted the existence of earbud headphones in his 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451, titled “The Distant Shore.” However, Bradbury’s earphones were more of a tiny radio than wireless earbuds. The novel was written before the first stereo headphones were created in 1958, and the first earphone connected to a transistor radio was developed in 1954. Therefore, Ray Bradbury’s “seashell” earphones closely approximated the earbuds we know today.
Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” novel was written 14 years before the Titanic tragedy. Then, the science fiction writer predicted that people would listen to music through their earbuds while sleeping. Bradbury’s book also predicted that people could talk and communicate with one another using Bluetooth-like headsets. By 2024, the market for these devices is expected to reach $21.5 billion.
The tablet computer was first predicted by Arthur C. Clarke, a science fiction writer known for his futuristic tales. In his 1968 novel, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’ astronauts used a tablet computer to write and record messages. In addition, the tablet computer has been cited as evidence in a patent dispute between Apple and Samsung. It may have been the first tablet computer, but it certainly paved the way for future innovations.
Asimov’s vision for a tablet computer started with the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which aired in 1986. People were still using clunky mice and Commodore 64 computers at the time. The film crew demonstrated how fast people could type on these devices. In the sequel, 2010: Odyssey Two, Arnie and the crew of the Enterprise try to reach Mars. Unfortunately, they encounter many hilarious obstacles, including airport security.
Several writers have predicted the existence of the Internet. In ‘Neuromancer,’ author William Gibson predicted that the Internet would be accessible to the public and could be used to communicate with one another. However, mark Twain, author of ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, predicted the internet years before it was a reality. Mark Twain wrote a short story predicting a similar concept back in 1898.
A science fiction writer first predicted the Ray gun in a 1922 novel. The story outlines an alien invasion of Earth and the development of filaments of alien origin linked to human skin, creating a biochic network. In addition to killing people, these filaments could also detect human activity. The Ray gun, however, was not a reality until a few years later.