May 4, 2017
There are a lot of films that either take place in the future or feature technology well ahead of reality, but few fictional universes hold a candle to that of Star Wars. Although their history occurred a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, much of what was portrayed even in 1977 has yet to become readily available for us humans. Between self-aware droids, interstellar travel, and of course lightsabers, humanity has only scratched the surface of the kind of tech shown in those movies.
In honor of Star Wars day we at TechCo did some digging through the Star Wars universe to come up with some of their most innovative technology that we wish were reality. Although the series is clearly focused around war, hence the name, much of that technology can be adapted to improving our every day life as well. With that, this is less about smashing up droids, and more so about surviving global warming or maybe North Korea, but with a few fun ones thrown in.
Sure, lightsabers are designed for killing, but haven’t you wondered what it would be like to slice a grilled cheese sandwich using that same technology? Apparently that’s just me. Unlike lasers, though similar, a lightsaber can essentially cleanly cut through anything except for cortosis, beskar, phrik, energy shields, and other lightsabers (thanks Quora) while maintaining an insane amount of energy at the length of a saber/sword. Though many hobbyists have dabbled in creating devices that sort of look like lightsabers, currently there is no technology readily available to produce the same effect.
Pew pew. Do we have lasers? Of course, and we have for some time; however, we have yet to produce lasers with the same output as the films. In the US, we have lasers for cutting at close range, defense systems like the Boeing YAL-1, and even getting closer with the Navy’s Laser Weapon System (LaWS), but we currently just don’t have the ability to produce enough energy within such a small package to create the same effect.
Magic tricks? It’s an illusion Michael! Perhaps one of the most wished upon piece of technology beyond that of a lightsaber is the ability to fully produce holograms. Back in 2012 Coachella brought Tupac back from the dead with what they referred to as a hologram, but was actually just a projection onto a transparent screen with a lot of uncanny valley thrown in. How about CNN’s hologram? Nope, unfortunately that is just cameras capturing a person in real-time and then inserting a hologram like appearance on top of the video stream. While we are certainly getting closer to the technology, and technically augmented reality is a solution for this in itself, we’re not quite to the point where we can bend light for the same effect without a bit of smoke and mirrors to go along with it.
Traveling to the moon? Easy. Traveling to Mars? A bit of a challenge. How about traveling to other planetary systems or stars? Let’s just say you might actually want carbonite freezing so that you can wait that road trip out. Between the lack of energy that it would take to get there, the excessive travel time (Proxima Centauri would take around 80,000 years), and humans having less than a fraction of the life-span needed for the trip, interstellar travel simply just is not feasible with our current economic or technological offerings.
The best offense is a good defense, and few things would defend you like a force field. Besides protecting people in battle, regular civilians might even be able to get consumer versions to finally find a real solution to one of the most evil things on the planet, mosquitoes.
Hoverbikes (Speeder Bike)
Hovercrafts have been around for some time, especially the kind that adapt to fast travel over bodies of water. Ever since watching the epic hoverbike scenes Return of the Jedi, every kid has wanted some version of the speeder bike, only to be let down time after time with rudimentary knockoffs that look more like a quadcopter with a saddle on it. We’re looking at you Hoversurf, which is about as close to the real thing as we’re going to get for a while. For good measure, let’s throw in a podracer too.
If humans want to dabble in interstellar travel, carbon or carbonite freezing would be the way to go. Countless movies popularize the concept of putting people into some form of suspended animation, and within Star Wars that’s where carbon freezing comes into play. Unfortunately the closest humanity has got to carbon freezing is with cryogenics, except for the small little detail of you needing to be legally dead before that occurs. Based on how the science works currently, there would also be no way to properly warm the body back up to resuscitate a person either. But that’s for future scientists to deal with anyways, right? Oh, it can also be used to imprison people for essentially all time, too, but you already knew that.
R2D2, BB-8, C-3PO. These are the droids you’re looking for. In Star Wars there are hundreds of types of droids, each with their own set of personalities, functions, and features. In reality… we just have the crazy things that Boston Dynamics keeps cooking up, which are badass and terrifying, but are a long way away from having the necessary AI to be self-aware.
That’s no moon, it’s a space station. For as dark and terrible as the various Death Stars were, these Worldcrafts artificial planetoids that could both travel through space and of course support life. Our current space station would be the equivalence of a horse versus a Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita, but you could also live in the Trevita for generations upon generations.
Want more cool gadgets that you can actually have? We’ve got ’em at Tech.Co
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