Saturday, 25 April 2015

When Science Fiction Becomes Science Fact!

A prank that came true...

Kinetic Capture Insoles.
A genuine real photo with no photoshopping whatsoever. #NotReally
As well as the Charles Fudgemuffin blog, I also run a spoof technology blog called Tomorrow's Technology Today, and one story which appeared on the blog back in 2012 was a feature on Kinetic Capture™ Insoles; running shoe insoles that store the kinetic energy as you run and then use this power to charge up your iPhone.

Of course the insoles were entirely fictitious, but some people were fooled by the article, with one person commenting, "I love this technology!! Great article and test.  What is the lifespan of these insoles?"  As already mentioned, sadly, I can't comment on their lifespan, as the insoles aren't real and are  totally fictitious...

...or are they?

Amazingly, since the article was published it seems that this is a case where science fiction has become science fact!  A kickstarter campaign was launched in 2013 which quickly reached its funding target, so it looks like we'll be seeing Kinetic Capture™ Insoles on the market very soon.

Of course, Kinetic Capture™ Insoles aren't the first example of science fiction becoming science fact.  Here are five more famous examples when fiction became reality...

1) Space Travel

The Solar System, pictured yesterday.
Photo copyright of NASA. Used with kind permission.*
'From The Earth To The Moon' by Jules Verne was published in 1865 and the plot involved a US mission to the Moon launched from Florida.  Three astronauts got to walk on the Moon, then returned to Earth and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, before being rescued by a US navy vessel.

Just over a century later the novel proved to be remarkably accurate when in 1969 the Apollo 11 mission set off from Florida and took Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the Moon.  They then returned to Earth and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, before being recovered by USS Hornet.

Impressively, Jules Verne also predicted that once they reached space, astronauts would experience weightlessness.  The concept of weightlessness in space is something which pretty much everyone is aware of nowadays, but back in 1865 there was no way Jules Verne could have known about this scientific fact, so it was an incredibly accurate prediction to make.

* For the benefit of any foolish people, the 'NASA' photo is of course not a real photo of the Solar System and is in fact a model of the planets which my mate made.

2) The Atomic Bomb

H.G. Wells was another author who made many famous predictions, and one of his scariest predictions which sadly came true was the atomic bomb.  He made the prediction in his 1924 novel 'The World Set Free' and as well as predicting the devastating power of an atomic explosion, he also predicted that radioactive fallout would make vast areas of land inhabitable and cause harmful physical effects for anyone unfortunate enough to be subjected to the fallout.

3) Automatic Doors

A less scary prediction by H.G. Wells, but just as accurate, was the concept of automatic motion-sensing doors.  Nowadays we take automatic doors for granted, but when H.G. Wells first featured automatic motion-sensing doors in his 1899 novel 'When The Sleeper Wakes', it was quite a radical concept.  H.G. Wells proved to be decades ahead of his time, as the first real life automatic doors weren't invented until 1960.

4) Real Time Audio Translation Apps

Thankfully, the Babel fish was a lot smaller than this fish,
otherwise it would have been a tight squeeze to fit it in your ear.
'The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy' by Douglas Adams was published in 1980 and included several inventive ideas, such as an unusual creature known as the Babel fish.  When inserted into your ear, the Babel fish would translate foreign languages into your own tongue, providing real time audio translation.

At the time, the concept of real time audio translation was a radical idea and seemed totally entrenched in the realms of science fiction.  However, by 2014 several real time audio translation apps were available for Android and iOS.  Not quite a translating fish, but still pretty impressive nonetheless!

5) The Internet

As well as featuring translating fish, the 'Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy' contained many more creative ideas, including the actual guide itself which was an electronic device described as 'the standard repository for all knowledge and wisdom'.  It sounds very much like a modern day electronic tablet with a wifi internet connection.

However, in actual fact Mark Twain had already predicted the internet as far back as 1898, when he wrote 'From The London Times Of 1904'.  This was a short story featuring the 'telelectroscope'; a futuristic device which used the phone system to create a worldwide network of instantaneous information sharing.

Even more impressively, telephones were only invented in 1876, so they were still quite new when Mark Twain made his prediction.  To add to his impressive predictive skills, Mark Twain's story even mentioned, 'the daily doings of the globe made visible to everybody' which sounds like a very accurate description of facebook!

My predictive skills were quite accurate when predicting Kinetic Capture™ Insoles, so for a window into the future and to discover more technology of tomorrow, simply check out my spoof technology blog ... Tomorrow's Technology Today!  Other spoof stories featured on the blog include 'UV protection patches', an electronic chip which could catch out diving football cheats, and a very exciting development for anyone on a diet ... calorie negative ready meals!  Who knows ... in a few years time, maybe some of these fake stories will also become reality.

Lots more creatively fictitious technology ideas are lined up for Tomorrow's Technology Today, so if you want to stay up-to-date with the latest in spoof technology (which may prove to be reality in the future), follow Tomorrow's Technology Today on twitter:
Twitter: @TTechToday

There are more futuristic inventions, such as the magnapod transport system, and gift of tongues (G.O.T.) technology, in Charles Fudgemuffin's alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books, so maybe a hundred years from now some of the inventions featured in the books will also become reality.

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About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.