The Future that Never Happened

Many a youth, including mine, was spent watching a multitude of movies supposedly ‘set in the future’. Now, the older more mature me finds myself living in that so-called ‘future’ and I’m not too sure it turned out quite as those movie directors predicted. Maybe that’s for the best in some instances. But there were also some wicked ideas and gadgets that should have been well and truly invented by now. Here are my top ten memorable future predictions that never quite materialised.

1. The Hover-board from Back to the Future 2 (1989)

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We all remember this one. Michael J fox looking super cool and futuristic – out-smarting all the bad guys, that is until he got stuck on the lake. Come on, we all know hover-boards don’t work over water! I think every child in the world wanted one of these, including me. Never having even mastered the art of balancing on a skateboard, I’m not sure how safe a device like this would be for me to ride on. But a few laughs and broken bones later I would have still been the envy of all my mates. Set in 2015, we still have a year to go for this predicted gadget to hit the streets! I think the big kid in me still wants one.

2. Flying cars from Bladerunner (1982)

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This classic film portrayed the archetypal future that many of us still envisage could happen. The dark, grim, overcrowded and over technical environs with the ultimate prediction – flying cars. So where are they then? Bladerunner is far from the only film to see automobiles of the sky being a sign of things to come and for me they have formed a firm basis of my view of the future. Given that we have some awful drivers on our roads already though, I think it might be best if this one stays fiction for a while longer. After all, car crashes in the sky are going to cause a lot more mess than they do on the roads.

3. Transporter from Star Trek

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‘Beam me up Scotty’. We’ve all been subjected to an episode of Star Trek at some point in our lives (and some people are even fans!). But one great invention that will always hold a place in our hearts is the transporter. How much easier would life be with one of these? How much time we could save? Just about to board a five hour flight home after a family holiday, or facing another long commute home from the office? Imagine how more productive we could all be if we could just stand on a little circle, press a button and arrive at our destination in a mere jiffy.

4. Memory implants from Total Recall (1990)

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Who remembers Arnie getting an implanted memory for a vacation to Mars? Okay it might have all gone a bit awry in the film, but it’s kind of a neat idea in theory right? Or is it? After all, half the fun of memories is making them – so this would completely skip out the crucial bit. Yeah it might be nice to have a memory of a vacation in the Maldives, but I would much rather pack my bags, get on a plane and actually experience it in the here and now. Mind you, being set in 2084, we still haven’t quite hit the expiration date of the this prediction yet – so watch this space.

5. The Neuralyzer from Men in Black (1997)

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Ever done something you wish you could forget? Or even better – wish others could forget? All those naughty moments could be wiped from the memories of those who you don’t want to remember. We would be able to act fearless in the knowledge that no-ones recollections are going to come back to bite us. That’s where the neuralyzer comes in – a quick flash and all is forgotten. Great idea in principle, that is until someone else uses it on you! Somehow I think this little gadget could be open to some serious misuse in the wrong hands.

6. The time machine from Back to the Future (1985)

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The ultimate invention of the future – the time machine. The Delorean from the Back to the Future movies is a classic to say the least. Who wouldn’t want a time machine? Just imagine all the times and places we could go to. Go back and change some of those dodgy choices we made when we were younger – or head to the future to see what events have in store for us. I would definitely follow in the footsteps of Biff Tannan with his Grays Sports Almanac – to ensure my future millionaire status! 🙂 But okay, maybe we would need to be careful, after all a small change could have an almighty ripple – have you not see ‘The Butterfly Effect’?

7. KITT from Knightrider 

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A proper blast from the past. Who doesn’t remember David Hasslehoff and his ‘super-intelligent car’. Sure to help you out of the most tight scrapes, this is a must for any thrill seekers out there. But picture this – tired feet after a day shopping, weighed down in shopping bags and a grouchy toddler in tow who insists on being carried ….. cue the arrival of KITT pulling up in front of you, saving you that long trek to the car park. Or even better …. had a few too many drinks after a night out and not fit to drive …. KITT is like your own personal chauffeured car, without the chauffeur. It drives itself, talks and is mega intuitive. I need one of these big time.

8. Prisoners fight to the death in The Running Man (1987)

Set in 2017 – apparently in two years time prisoners will be fighting to the death to survive a brutal televised game show – think Hunger Games style for the younger readers amongst us. The ultimate punishment for felons – I guess this would be one way to address prison over-crowding. It’s a bit like stepping back to the barbaric gladiator arena of Roman times and I’m not sure my stomach is quite up to a pizza and this viewing on a Saturday night. I can also see a fundamental flaw. The prisoners who survive are going to be the meanest, bad-arse and cunning ones. What happens to them? They get to go free – back out amongst society. Hhmmm – not sure they are the ones we want to let out.

9. Human like robots from Terminator (1984)

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This is actually one thing I am really surprised not to have seen by now. Well okay, maybe not quite proper human robots just yet, but I thought we would have been closer to the whole robots doing everything for us era. I would like a little maid robot who cleans the house, cooks dinner and does the shopping – even better there’s no fear of the OH being tempted to get waylaid. Imagine all the time I would have to sit on the sofa, put my feet up and get lazy. Actually, I’m not too sure what I would do with my time. And what happens if the robot malfunctions – it could be ultimate chaos. Just looked what happened in Terminator, they had a full on robot rebellion.

10. Cryogenics from Vanilla Sky (2001)

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Who needs immortality when you have cryogenics. When your time is up you can be frozen for future resuscitation. And while you’re having that much need recuperative nap – you can even have a pre-picked dream playing in your head. The predicted future for the mega-rich, this is one of those inventions that has often formed the basis for discussion in the media. Imagine being able to preserve our loved ones, never having to say goodbye permanently. There is something quite appealing to this invention. Okay, okay I can see some small issues with population growth, the health system (I mean how much is going to start going to go wrong with our bodies after being alive for 200 years), inter-generational mating (eeek)! And if it’s a luxury of the rich – where does that leave the rest of us?

 

This post was written for the WordPress weekly writing challenge. This weeks prompt is Time Machine!

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