Let’s Get Technical: Technology makes the jump from the silver screen to your fingertips after making sci-fi movie appearance


   Science fiction movies such as Star Wars have always peaked viewers curiosity when it came to the futuristic tech portrayed in them, but very few actually expected it to become reality. However, some of that futuristic tech has made the jump and is now available to the general consumer.

  One of these new technologies has been around for awhile now in the form of smartwatches.

  In 2014, Google announced Android Wear, a version of Android that would run on smartwatches and be able to directly communicate with your phone over bluetooth. Early watches were more of a cool gimmick or a status statement, but now they offer actual functionality with updates such as Android Wear 2.0 and WatchOS 3 for those with an Apple Watch.

  They can now work completely autonomously from your phone and do things such as use Android Pay, access the internet by themselves with wifi or LTE and even make phone calls as long as your watch has a speaker.

  Sci-fi fantasies have also come to life due to advances in holographic technology. Products such as the Microsoft Hololens are now in the hands of developers and will soon be in the hands of consumers.

  Products like the Hololens are worn like a pair of glasses, but project holograms around you and allow you to do anything you would normally do on a PC from the comfort of anywhere. This increases mobility past the level of even smartphones, as the headset will just be on your head like a pair glasses and eliminates the need for other bulky equipment.

  These headsets have spatial awareness and are able to interact with your environment such as giving you the ability to pin holographic windows anywhere and make your environment completely interactive.

  These headsets are still in early phases and are fairly expensive, but fully working. When I was contacted by Microsoft to buy a unit, the cost was $3,000 per unit, though I expect that figure to drop when the technology becomes commonplace.

  Finally, 3D printing has become a reality and is slowly becoming more mainstream. Though not exactly what we have seen in movies, 3D printing of plastics has become fairly mainstream and is now to a point where we can print very high quality models in a fairly small and compact machine.

  3D printing has become a valuable asset for film studios in prop making and will soon be able to help the general consumer by allowing them to print things such as replacement parts for appliances and computer equipment.

  Like any new technology, it’s still fairly expensive for the average consumer, with mid-range printers costing around $1,500, and high end machines from the likes of companies like Ultimaker costing upwards of $4,000 with the Ultimaker 3.