1. Commercial Space Flight in “2001: A Space Odyssey”
2001 totally called commercial space flight, but may have dropped the ball on whether Pan Am would still be around.
source: Huntster at Wikimedia Commons
Mary Evans/MGM MGM/POLARIS/STANLEY KUBRICK PRODUCTIONS/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection (MSDTWTH EC016)
2. Deloreans That Don’t Need Roads in “Back To The Future”
For bonus points, the Delorean in BTTF runs not on plutonium, but biofuels… and that’s real too. And, if you get in the real-life Delorean, you can actually travel through time! (Technically.*)
(*but only forwards and at the rate of one minute per minute)
source: BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II, Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, 1989. © Universal Pictures/ Courtesy: Everett Collection. (MSDBATO EC050)
3. Robot Maids in “The Jetsons”
OK, so the Roomba isn’t full of exasperated, sassy wisdom… but that’s a nitpick. Robots that clean your house exist, people, because you live in the future.
4. Body Scanners in “Total Recall”
Surprisingly, the real-life iteration is weirder, creepier and more invasive.
5. Space-Age Communicators in “Star Trek”
While modern-day communicators can’t call deep space without a satellite, Spock & Co. couldn’t surf the web or buy stuff online… never mind tweeting pics of the weird monsters they encountered or reading the latest news on MSN.
6. Cloning in “Multiplicity”
Science Fiction writers have been predicting cloning forever, and it’s finally here in a big way. To date, scientists have cloned 23 different kinds of animals, from sheep to water buffalo to rats. Because we can all sleep better knowing that scientists are working overtime to create more rats.
7. Dog translation devices in “Up”
While the Bowlingual Dog translator won’t tell you, “I do not like the cone of shame,” it will tell you if you dog is feeling happy, sad, frustrated, or on-guard. You know you want to understand what Fido’s saying. Just throw him a bone!
8. Self-driving cars in “Batman”
The Batmobile isn’t the only thing that can drive itself. Automatic cars are real, and they may be safer than normal cars! As of 2013, Nevada, Florida, and California are the only states where you can use a driverless car.
9. The invisibility cloak in “Harry Potter”
OK, so you can’t really be a wizard, but here’s the next best thing. Researchers are working hard at the University of Texas in Austin to create invisibility cloaks. As wizards would say, “Riddikulus!”
source: HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE, Daniel Radcliffe, 2001/Courtesy of the Everett Collection (MSDHAPO EC009) and William Warby