If you grew up watching Star Wars, you probably imagined a future with robots and spaceships. For some, the idea of these technologies seemed too far off. Even still, it’s fun to imagine living in a world where you could jump into a spaceship for your commute to work. What’s amazing is that Star Wars-like technology is already in development. Let’s look at a few examples.
Although they are not technically spaceships, flying cars are very close and they are currently in development. There are some drivers around the United States that would welcome flying vehicles much faster than others because the traffic in some cities is horrendous. Whether flying cars is a good or bad idea, this technology is happening. In fact, there has already been a vehicle called the passenger drone produced by Airbus, an aerospace company, that is exactly how it sounds; a drone-like vehicle that can carry a passenger. Although it isn’t as big as a spaceship, it serves the purpose of traveling from one destination to another through flight.
There is a similar vehicle that was created in Dubai with the help of China that’s called a flying taxi. It only seats one person and is anticipated to become revolutionary once all of the kinks are worked out. Just like other flying cars in production, this vehicle takes flight from the top of buildings as opposed to a parking lot, which would create havoc. Not surprising, these vehicles have to overcome regulatory compliance and cost issues that could ultimately become prohibitive.
Humanoid robots are also called droids, which is basically from the family of R2-D2 and C3PO. Actually, advancements in this area of technology have exceeded what we saw on Star Wars because innovation has provided the ability to produce droids that are incredibly humanlike. In fact, some of them are quite scary because of how close they look to actual human beings.
What’s interesting is that the integration of Siri into the culture makes humanoid robots seemed quite natural to some people. There are now droids that leverage the power of artificial intelligence to understand behavior and this is something that’s being used in the marketplace to improve customer service outcomes. For example, there are systems that can engage humans and adjust their response based on emotions detected.
If you thought Luke Skywalker’s bionic arm was impressive, you’ll really be impressed by some of the prostheses that are produced these days. Although many of them are still a work in progress, significant investments have been made and bionic prosthesis are used extensively around the world. This includes robotic arms, legs and hands. What has been progressing in recent years is the functionality and precision of these prostheses. This technology has even been used by the military for soldiers that have lost a limb as a result of war.
In Star Wars, there were meetings held though intergalactic teleconferencing, which sounds amazing when you consider what that would be like in the real world. Although we are still quite a ways off, when you consider the progress made with holograms, it’s easier to imagine communications of an intergalactic nature. We’re actually getting closer because there are technologies that facilitate an exchange of 3D images in a way that appears much like the kind of teleconferencing that took place in Star Wars. It would essentially be the projection of images into a room that’s connected to the device used. There are a variety of different technologies used to accomplish something similar to intergalactic teleconferencing, but they are all still a work in progress.
These are some of the more exciting developments in technology that are reminiscent of Star Wars. Given the lightning speed in which innovation occurs, it doesn’t appear that much time will pass before some of these technologies become a reality and are introduced to the public. When you consider the wide use of technologies like FaceTime, it isn’t hard to imagine buying an affordable flying car. If you’re the creative type with a vivid imagination, you’re probably hopeful about the possibilities and ready to test a flying car.