Science fiction brings us a glimpse of what the future could look like. In many cases SciFi writers expect to see a good future where people have worked out all their differences and are now working together to make humanity even better than it has ever been before. Sometimes, though, SciFi writers get a glimpse of humanity and believe the world is headed in the wrong direction. The overall theme no matter which direction humanity is headed is the triumph of the human spirit, and SciFi can give us a great deal of insight into the technology that we might encounter along the way.
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In Ready Player One humans live in a dystopian future where poor people are stacked in vertical trailer parks and have to use virtual reality to escape the dreariness of their daily lives. That virtual reality tech, however, is showing up more frequently in our real lives today. Already many people have access to virtual reality tech, and more programming is being rolled out for VR all the time. Current applications include gaming and entertainment, and practical business applications are being developed. Let’s just hope we don’t have to use it as a form of escapism in the future.
In Star Trek The Next Generation SciFi tech is used to give Geordi LaForge sight after he was born without it. In that science fiction version of reality people were able to come together after an initial struggle to build an ideal society and to move humanity forward. It wasn’t all puppy dogs and rainbows and in fact humanity still has its share of problems, but humanity as a whole decided it was important to stop killing each other and start helping each other so that people could move forward. This gave rise to the ability to solve problems like blindness and everyone in this ideal society was able to have their place and purpose.
Science fiction gives us an idea of what the future could be like if we go in one direction or another. The question is which direction will humanity choose? Until then we will continue to speculate about the future, including what vision will be like and how technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality will be used. Predictions about the future are continuing to play out and technology is created based on these predictions. Learn more about the past and the future of SciFi vision from this infographic!