Superhero and science fiction gadgets that you didn’t know existed but might be in your homes in the near future. We have put together a list for you.

1. Iron Man’s Helmet

Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, HTC Vive, OcculusRift and more companies are working on making Holographic VR headsets that will provide a rich mixed reality experience to the user. Although none of these headsets are plug and play yet, they are pretty far along. VR can help you travel with nothing using futuristic technology. It opens up a whole new world without truly leaving your present one. However, in mixed reality, you can merge the two. Like in Iron Man’s suit Stark can take calls, see through things, recognize faces, google things etc. the headsets available to us right now and the ones in the development stage can take technology to the next level and make us feel really cool. And with the right costume, you might even end up looking like a superhero. 

Tony Stark - I Need It

2. Star Wars

From magnetic levitation to fighter robots, Star Wars seems to have inspired quite a lot of new-age technology. DARPA funded a project to make robot fighter dogs called BigDogs but it was shelved because it was “too loud for combat”. (Duh.) Holograms are also a big thing today and it has come to a point where people now use it for advertising. Robots, 3D games, and HUDs have become a part of our lives. Okay, maybe not robots but we know they’re out there.

Another interesting thing that seems to be inspired from the iconic series is a hovercraft. The Moller M200G Volanter is a prototype of a flying saucer type hovercraft. It seats two people and can hover up to 10 feet off the ground.

Take My Money

3. Minority Report’s Air Screens

Those cool screens in the air in minority report and later on in Iron Man are no longer a fantasy of sci-fi movies but the next computer interactive medium. Displair were the first to develop virtual touch screens. They used cold airflow and water (no joke) in pressure differences to create screen-less multi touch displays. Microsoft soon jumped on the bandwagon and came up with Kinect that uses AR to sense the movement of the user.

Minority Report Air Screen

4. Willy Wonka’s Pneumatic Tube

Augustus Gloop, the great big greedy brat in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, drank from the chocolate river and fell into it much to the dismay of Willy Wonka who made it a point that his chocolate was never touched by human hands. After that, he was sucked up by a pipe but he got stuck due to his large circumference. So they increased the pressure and he went shooting up like a bullet out of a barrel-straight to the boiler of the fudge room! That tube is actually a pneumatic tube that uses partial vacuum to transport (usually solid) things over relatively short distances.

Pneumatic Tube

5. A lot of things from The Jetsons

There are a lot of things from this childhood favorite that we can see in the technology labs of 2017. Let’s start with Daisy, a robot. The most advanced robot today is Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility or ASIMO from Honda. It is a walking robot with the ability to interact with human beings. It also costs a whopping $2,500,000. Take that Green Monkey.

When you think of spoilt pets you usually think of tiny inbred dogs in Paris Hilton’s purse. These days people are going bonkers grooming their pets and the Jetsons were no less. They used to have Dog Treadmills which people took inspiration from and now you can buy them online for almost the same price as a human treadmill.

The Roomba from Breaking Bad, flat screen TVs, video chats, smart watches, and digital news. The list is endless. The Jetsons predicted a lot of things that have since become a part of our daily lives. They predicted it to be in 2062 though. We have a lot of time for that to come around but I think it’s safe to say that we’re on our way.


6. The Martian

Mark Watney’s story of isolation and survival in the 2015 film involves some very believable tech. It’s a hypothetical case in a hypothetical future but NASA came out with a list of tech in the film which already exists. Human Exploration Research Analog or HERA is similar to the habitat in which he stayed on Mars. It trains astronauts for deep-space exploration.

The International Space Station already has a plant farm, water recovery, and oxygen generation system similar to the ones in the movie. NASA is also working on a Z-2 suit which will allow humans to explore Mars.

We’re on our way there guys. Let’s just be careful we bring everyone back when we do.

Martian Farming

7. Hoverboard from Back To The Future

Unlike the wheeled hover boards or Segways that we’re used to seeing, the Back to the Future hover board actually hovered. Although it hasn’t become a household item yet, these flying machines do exist. The leading names in this technology are Zapata, Omni, and Lexus. The ArcaBoard is by far the first real hoverboard that flies and can be controlled by our gestures. However, it looks like a giant plank and nothing like the little girl’s vehicle that McFly stole. Lexus, on the other hand, does look quite similar to that but it still needs a lot of work.

The irony is that, according to the movie, hover boards would have been available to us by 2015. *sigh*

Hover Board

8. Hiro Hamada’s Microbots

There is a self-assembly lab at MIT which makes swarms of adorable tiny robots which communicate with each other and make the shape/structure which they are supposed to do with the help of a little programming. The aim here is to build a material that will help in construction, manufacturing, product assembly, and performance. Imagine if a bridge is about to break. Instead of calling Spidey to hold it together we could deploy these little things to automatically fill in the cracks.

Hiro Hamada Swarm

9. Robocop or Cyborg’s Hand (Just the hand)

Bionic arms have been around for a while and amputees can even get them commercially from bebionic. But at Johns Hopkins’ Applied Physics Lab the limits of prosthetic design have been pushed to a new level. Their Modular Prosthetic Limb, a cutting-edge bionic arm funded by DARPA can read signals from the body’s nervous system and convert it to actions. You can basically control it with your mind. It then returns signals back to the brain creating a sense of phantom touch. Currently, its applications are limited to medical use. But they do bring about social and ethical questions about the safety of this mechanization of human beings. Basically, is this the beginning of the war against robots? Who knows? But it sure as hell looks cool.

Cyborg Justice League

10. Iron Man’s Suit

In a revolutionary feat of innovation and technology, the U.S. Army has almost finished the construction of a robotic exoskeleton. The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit or TALOS is bulletproof, weaponized, has the ability to monitor vitals and gives the wearer enhanced strength and perception. It is named after Talon, a giant machine in Greek mythology to protect Europe, but we all know where the true inspiration came from.

Iron Man Superhero - Explosion

11. Batman’s Bat-Shark Repellent

Yes. That does exist. Apparently, it can be anything from EM waves to the smell of dead sharks.

Batman and Shark

Now you know. The future is coming.

Brace Yourself