We often set our standard worldly assumptions and conclusions aside when we hear the word science-fiction movies, series, or comics. It is not because this genre of movies has loopholes or loose endings to the stories; rather, sci-fi is meant to push the boundaries of our imaginations. It is meant to force our minds to think out of the box and accept things and ideas that do not exist.
Sci-fi stories transport us to a world wherein technological advancement is at peak. It is usually beyond the current reality and surpasses our imagination. Imagine watching a person using a wristwatch for communication some 20 years ago. Or better yet, imagine viewing 3D holograms projected out of nowhere into thin air two decades ago. A lot of hard-to-believe aspects of sci-fi movies is one reason why some people dislike them – they cannot wrap their heads around the ideas that seem far from reality.
However, besides all the cult following these sci-fi movies get, it cannot be stressed enough how these movies have inspired the technology that we currently use and cannot live without. From the smartwatches – relaying SMS and calls for us – to hoverboards that practically fly people without moving a single toe, sci-fi has inspired a technological takeover which we are all grateful for.
This article looks at some of the awe-inspiring sci-fi items that are benefiting the workplaces of today. The latter part of the article also enlists some sci-fi technology that still has to come and make our work easier in one way or the other.
Sci-fi Items Benefiting the Workplace of Today
1. Universal Translator
Appearing in some of the notable movies such as The Hitchhiker’s Guide, Star Trek, and Doctor Who, a universal translator was shown as a fundamental device for improving commination. It is only understandable that not all the creatures of this universe or belonging to different galaxies speak English. They have to have a certain type of device that bridges the communication gap between humans and, say, aliens.
Universal translator was shown performing the same functioning. It was shown as a staple sci-fi technology. In today’s sci-fi office, where networking is at a peak, and a company is spread globally, a universal translator became necessary. Yahoo adopted this technology in 1997 and launched its very first multilingual translation app.
Nowadays, global conferences use this awesome technology for gathering employees or members from all around the world without worrying about the language barrier. The horizon of meetings and brainstorming have left behind the boundaries of language with this amazing sci-fi technology becoming a reality.
2. Artificial Intelligence aka AI
We all fell for the scenes in science fiction movies where people instructed computers or devices to perform tasks for them. The idea of a voice-activated device that stores and memorizes your routine is one of the gems of sci-fi movies. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, the AI controller managing functions of the Discovery One Spacecraft left all in awe.
The interaction of an AI assistant with humans has become more common today. With Apple bringing this technology into the mainstream in 2011, the world of modern workplaces transformed like anything. This technology has helped eradicate repetitiveness from workplaces. It does the mundane, repetitive tasks for you, remembers your schedule, and frees up time for more complex tasks.
The conception and functioning of chatbots is an example of AI. Incorporating AI mechanics, the chatbots are helping to streamline customer care like never before. They have shown to increase customer satisfaction while freeing up human cognition and talent for other tasks.
Again quoting 2001: A Space Odyssey, it is necessary to point out that the current style iPads have been shown in this Stanley Kubrick’s iconic movie. Who would have thought that the “electronic clipboards” would become a reality?
Tablets have become so common that it does not even seem like an exciting sci-fi item to be listed here. However, the reality is that tablets were once a fragment of sci-fi imagination only. From being a fragment of imagination to becoming as common as updating patients’ cases to ordering food at a restaurant, tablets have come a long way. Most workplaces use tablets for presentations and communications.
Since Luke Skywalker got a holographic call to action from Princess Leigh, the world has been swooning over how insanely attractive this technology is. Holographic projection has become a reality these days. It has become one of the most expensive technologies that corporate giants use for global presentations.
Visualizing the idea pitched by your client in a 3D holographic image is not something people can say not to. Vigorous efforts are being made in the tech industry to make this technology more mainstream. Media hubs are also jumping on the hologram bandwagon and using the holograms for more vivid graphics.
5. Video Calling
Remember how sci-fi movies showed people talking to other people from a different universe as if they were present right there? Video calling is the reality of those imagined ideas in sci-fi movies. Adapting the current global corporate trends has forced the corporations to expand their workforce. Diversity is becoming a key – and to tend to that, video calling has become an integral part of the offices these days.
It does not matter if you are a consultant working for a firm operating in another continent, video calling is the best solution.
6. Communicator Watches
Another most common technology shown in sci-fi movies is a watch that can be used to communicate. Remember how people used to push buttons on their watches, and it connected them to other people? Well, this is no more a fragment of imaginations. Smartwatches have changed the patterns of communication significantly.
Nowadays, smartwatches are used by the management to improve the efficiency of the employees. It helps the employees to stay on a schedule while being available all the time. Everything is synced with the virtual calendar and emails, so the smartwatches have become an extension of employees’ work stations these days.
Technology Beneficial for Workplaces that Has Yet to Come
Tricorders (Star Trek)
From locating underlying force fields to scanning cargo items and detecting sci-fi ammunition, the tricorders from Star Trek seems a pretty cool gadget. It is a scanner, recorder, and diagnostic tool all combined in one handheld device. The real world can benefit significantly from this technological invention. For instance, hospitals can give these handheld scanners to the staff, eliminating the need for an MRI scanner. If introduced, this scanner can become an all-in-one tool for diagnosing and testing.
A display wall, as shown in Tom Cruise’s movie, Minority Report, cannot be appreciated enough. It is an interactive wall acting as a screen showing every possible image controlled by a specialized glove. Imagine having one of these in the boardroom, wherein you can move around windows and change the images with a click of the finger. A touchscreen projector will eliminate the need for a screen projector having a computer attached to it.
Technology is addictively inspiring. There is no stop to where the world can reach with constant useful technological innovations. Sci-fi movies have acted as the storyboard of ideas for technology innovation. The gadgets shown in these movies inculcate an idea into the scientific minds, and then some several years later, you can witness that idea becoming a reality and serving you in your professional and personal life.