As long as there’s compelling science fiction out there, we can keep reaching for more and more elusive technology to integrate into our daily lives.
We see bits and pieces of a sci-fi dreamscape already present in so much of the everyday — just consider your smartphone as a single example.
So much of what it can do was either silly, impossible, or impractical 10 or twelve years ago. But now we expect to use our phones as flashlights, calendars, and gaming devices, all kept secure by our own fingerprint.
Thankfully there’s still plenty of people drawing inspiration from the fantastic, making science fiction into reality, then making that reality into a business.
Here are some of the most impressively high tech concepts that we think will successfully stand as businesses on their own.
Myo is a gesture control armband that turns your real-world movements into computer instructions. By monitoring electrical impulses in your arm, Myo lets you navigate your Mac or PC computer with waves of your hand and the use of gestures.
Conventional computer storage works bystoring bits as magnetic or optical changes on a physical surface.
Holographic data storage turns this paradigm on its ear by recording information throughout multiple layers of an object, even storing multiple data sets by recording with lights set at different angles.
GE has demonstrated some practical applications of holographic storage, storing 500 GB of data on a Bluray disc.
It's like something out of Star Trek -- a computer that sits on your face and overlays useful tidbits of data into your field of vision as you ask for them. It was released to developers in February and will be available to consumers at large in 2014 for between $US300 and $US500.
The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that replaces your entire field of vision. The most immediate and obvious applications here are for games. Who wouldn't want to quite literally step into and run around inside his or her favourite game?
Quantum computing uses the weird quirks of the super-small subatomic world to run calculations that are far more complex than conventional computers could handle reasonably. By harnessing small particles that can exist in multiple places at once and move forwards and backwards in time, scientists can make huge progress on tough problems.
Get this -- one theory of how a quantum computer works is that it runs calculations in other dimensions.
Terahertz radiation penetrates solids the same way that X-rays do, writes Mashable. Scientists have built a microchip that can send and receive these signals, which means the formerly oversized machinery using terahertz radiation to see into things can be shrunken down to fit inside your smartphone.
Elon Musk's futuristic bobsled could, when realised, zip you around to cover huge distances faster than an aeroplane can fly.
Of course it's still only hypothetical, but we can imagine, can't we?