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back to article Ten... fantasy gadgets you wish you owned

Tomorrow is always round the corner in the world of tech, and gadgets that started life in the imaginations of mad folk are starting to become a possibility. Tools that give us superpowers may seem impossible, but ultramobile computing is a reality these days, with commonplace kit that seems more capable than devices Gene …

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Black Helicopters

Sonic Screwdriver

"Perhaps writers for the new seasons hit a wall one day though and decided to bring it back, as they've featured the handheld tool in an array of episodes since 2005."

Call me cynical if you want, but a wand with an LED on the end and makes a high pitched warbling sound is both desirable as a toy (when backed by an entire TV series showing how cool it is) and incredibly cheap to make, which makes for a healthy profit margin.

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FAIL

Now Where Did I Put The Receipt?

I enjoyed the irony during The Daleks in Manhattan a couple of years ago when the Doctor actually found himself trying to use the sonic screwdriver to *unscrew* something, possibly for the first time ever in over 40 years, a task which it failed to do miserably.

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Sonic Screwdriver

A magic device that in the right hands can allow the user to manipulate any form of technology.

A handy little tool, particularly for the plot writers!

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Tom Baker

Actually, I remember Tom Baker unscrewing a table from the floor to use as cover. I think it was in The Ark in Space.

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Boffin

I do recall Tom Baker (I think)

using the SS to unscrew some screws. The screws in question were about three inches diameter on the heads, but still slotted screw heads (no posi-drivers in the far future!). He applied the SS side on to the screw heads, more like a sonic-wrench, but it got the job done.

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Good item ... but:

Your picture of the 'Tomorrow People' does not show then wearing the jaunting belts that you are referencing ... the jaunting belts have buckles made of black and white squared patterns (pixels if you will) but I'll forgive you for the Clarissa Macdougall reference in the Lensman section and the Lensman section itself ... ;-)

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I very much doubt I'm the first to point this out, but...

...what the hey:

Babel Fish. After the infamous tower.

Mind you, Babblefish has a certain charm to it.

I quite agree on the sonic screwdriver, though; it's turning into a bit of a deus ex machina plot device these days. The Doctor is beginning to remind me of a smartphoneaholic*; constantly reaching into his pocket, thinking "there's an app for this..."

Nice roundup. Good stuff...

* I speak as an acknowledged smartphonaholic who HAS the sonic screwdriver app installed...

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Damn you!

I've already got too many apps on my phone.

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Me too

Would swap Peril Sunglasses for a Babel Fish any day.

And why hasn't someone done a Hitch Hikers Guide skin for a 3G mobile yet ??

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I'd trade the peril-sensitive sunglasses...

...for a Somebody Else's Problem field - or maybe, at a stretch, Wowbagger's film collection.

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Paris Hilton

Flesh Gordon

Remembering the sex ray from Flesh Gordon = Pure Wrong!

Still, Paris + sex ray....

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Video rental

I'll never forget a time many years ago (before the days of DVD and vhs rental was king) when a friend phoned up the local video rental store wanting to hire Flash Gordon for their kids birthday party and the person at the store asked them wether they wanted to rent the first or second film.

Good job there's no Flash Gordon 2 or the birthday party would have been a real eye opener...

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The Diamond Age

An Illustrated Primer seems on the cusp of doable, I'd like one for my son please.

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Happy

yeah but . . .

. . . with it you get 'Toner' and Stephenson's version of Jeff Noon's 'Blurbflies'.

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Just a simple device will do me...

Something pocket-able that will kill all mobile phone reception at a small distance - like about a maximum of a train carriage away.

If it could also stop those bloody personal stereo noise machines going tishtish life would be so much improved.

P.

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Already invented

and it's called the hydrogen bomb.

Having said which, there are some minor wrinkles regarding the range of its effects, the unavoidable millions of fatalities and unfortunately persistent fallout which still have to be ironed out; but I can say with 100% confidence that you will never have to worry about mobile phones or personal stereos ever again.

It's also great for getting stones out of horses hoofs, warding off dangerous dogs, sterilising river water and attracting attention if you are lost in remote areas.

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Where's my

flying car?

Surely the author has seen The Jetsons

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Gone off the idea of a flying car...

and personal jet pack. I don't think either will catch on.

I've decided I want a backpack "Turbocopter" like Action Man had. More fuel efficient than jet pack but still a bit chancy to use.

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not too far away

http://martinjetpack.com/

i want one !

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Ok but

Where's my flying car?

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Happy

Seconded

Though at a pinch an airship would do nicely - and they're more or less being built now.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Ok but

Wherever you parked it...

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Right here

http://www.parajetautomotive.com/

Not quite as sleek as the ones typically seen in sci-fi, but I do believe it's the best flying car we'll see in the near future. Every other attempt I've seen would be more accurately called ground-driving planes.

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Sir

"snatch-mouthed alien"

how dangerous are the women you meet then? All those teeth, and it opens up in four directions, you could probably get a BFG in there.

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Happy

Joe 90

Whilst I loved the TV series as a kid I think it was brought right up to date by Joss Weadon in Doll House. Mmmmm, Eliza Dushku

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Heart

Brilliant

What a great article. No doubt all manner of folk will add additional bits and bobs, so here's my tuppennyworth:

Oxy-gum - Marine-Boy's super stick of Wrigley's that allows you to breathe underwater (without an aqualung)!

Sport Billy's Omni-Sack - A bag that can hold ANYTHING!!

X-Wing Fighters and Millennium Falcons! Just because!

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Megaphone

Ten? I only want one...

I'd like a GSV.

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Yes - but

would it like you?

also a Lazy Gun please wouldn't go amiss :-)

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Would you settle for an SPV?

The rear-facing seat in my campervan is known as the 'SPV' position. With no prompting at all, grown ups sit in it and start humming the 'Captain Scarlet' song.

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Make mine....

a knife missile......

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Joke

Same as in "Matter"? Stowed in a suitcase?

Cough... Cough... Cough...

In any case, if we stay with the culture theme I'd rather have the glands. There are days when a dose of Sharp Blue can go a long way...

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@ Alex C

I totally second that one!

"A Lazy Gun is roughly half a metre long, 30 cm wide and 20 cm tall. The Lazy Gun is "light but massy", and weighs three times as much when turned upside down. The Lazy Gun is the only weapon known to display a sense of humour.

When the Lazy Gun is fired at humans, many different things may occur. An anchor may appear above the person, giant electrodes may appear on either side of the target and electrocute them or an animal may tear their throat out. Larger targets such as tanks or ships may suffer tidal waves, implosion, explosion, sudden lava flows or just disappear. When fired at cities and other such targets, thermonuclear explosions are the norm, although in one instance a comet crashed into the city."

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Re: "I'd rather have the glands."

Ah, but if you manage to persuade a GSV to humour you (or better), think of the possibilities. Everything the Culture has on offer.

That's why I would like just this one thing, for everything else, decadent or otherwise, will follow thence.

Of course, if it gets pathologically fixated on you, there could be... err.. disadvantages...

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Bugger that

I'd like to be a GSV.

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Dead Vulture

Replicator

How come the replicator from the Star Trek did not make in to the list?

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Pint

What I really want is

A duplicate Android of myself that I could send to work when I really can't be bothered to get out of bed in the morning.

Mind you, I would just spend the rest of my working life having lie-ins and then buggering off down the pub in the afternoon.

Anyhow, cheers!

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^This

Seriously. Is. A. Bloody. Good. Idea.

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Terminator

Bad idea

Rad Bradbury pointed out the hazards in this in his short story "Marionettes Inc". End with a broken marriage and someone getting buried alive.

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Pint

One small hitch with that...

If you could buy the android, so could your boss. Beer money gone? Here, have one on me.

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Um everything here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cf7IL_eZ38

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Paris Hilton

Joo Janta 200...

A pair of the Joo Janta 200 Peril sensitive glasses came with the Hitch Hikers guide game. They were implemented as a black cardboard cutout of a pair of sunglasses. :) Just give them to the nearest Daily Mail reader, and they are in the correct mode constantly.

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Happy

Pleasure model from Bladerunner

Not sure how many I would need.

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Anonymous Coward

HELLLLOOOOOO

Lightsaber!?!

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Hokey religions and ancient weapons

...are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.

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I really liked its guest appearance in the HHGTTG movie

...as the breadknife that toasts as it cuts...

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: HELLLLOOOOOO

Ahem... here:

http://www.reghardware.com/2011/03/03/ten_fantasy_replica_bladed_weapons/

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LDS
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ST holodeck not the first

Actually, it looks "Spaceship Battleship Yamato" (Star Blazer) features an holodeck before the Enterprise-D, shown when IQ-9 shows the ship to the new recruits.

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Danger Room?

Though it used to be a large empty room containing a variety of spiky death bits that the X-Men had to avoid, at some point the Danger Room became a holodeck-equivalent. Unfortunately I can't provide an exact cite of when, but I think it also predated ST:TNG (if not Yamato).

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Both predated, of course...

... by Star Trek the animated series, which had a holodeck, and a malfunctioning one at that.

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Paris Hilton

holograms

"Still, the day such tech becomes a commercial product small enough to fit in my pocket, is the day I sell my house, car and girlfriend to pay for one"

Isnt this what those 3DS thingies do???

or are they not dynamicly generated?

or is there a diffence between 3D and a hologram?

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