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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  1. CaptainHook
    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.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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 ... ;-)

  3. BorkedAgain

    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...

    1. NightFox
      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        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!

      2. DeadlyJellyBaby

        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.

      3. LaeMing Silver badge
        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.

    2. Anonymous John

      Damn you!

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

    3. CASIOMS-8V

      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 ??

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Peter 4

    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.

  5. Pete 2

    Where's my

    flying car?

    Surely the author has seen The Jetsons

  6. Willington

    Ok but

    Where's my flying car?

  7. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

    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.

  8. Peter Clarke 1
    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

  9. jubtastic1

    The Diamond Age

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

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Flesh Gordon

    Remembering the sex ray from Flesh Gordon = Pure Wrong!

    Still, Paris + sex ray....

    1. Alex C
      Happy

      Seconded

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

    2. Elmer Phud
      Happy

      yeah but . . .

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

    3. Haku

      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...

    4. Mike Richards

      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.

    5. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Ok but

      Wherever you parked it...

    6. graeme leggett

      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.

      1. Seanie Ryan
        Thumb Up

        not too far away

        http://martinjetpack.com/

        i want one !

    7. sisk Silver badge

      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.

  11. /dev/rant
    Dead Vulture

    Replicator

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

  12. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
    Megaphone

    Ten? I only want one...

    I'd like a GSV.

  13. LuMan
    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!

    1. Alex C
      Thumb Up

      Yes - but

      would it like you?

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

      1. Eponymous Cowherd
        Thumb Up

        Make mine....

        a knife missile......

        1. Anton Ivanov
          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...

          1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

            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...

      2. Mephistro Silver badge

        @ 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."

    2. Elmer Phud

      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.

    3. Richard Gadsden 1

      Bugger that

      I'd like to be a GSV.

  14. Tullibardine
    Happy

    Pleasure model from Bladerunner

    Not sure how many I would need.

  15. Richard 31
    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.

  16. Xtreame96
    Thumb Up

    Um everything here

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

  17. Anonymous Coward
    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!

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      ^This

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

      1. Thomas 4
        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.

    2. nyelvmark
      Pint

      One small hitch with that...

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

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HELLLLOOOOOO

    Lightsaber!?!

    1. RorschachUK

      Hokey religions and ancient weapons

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

    2. BorkedAgain
      Thumb Up

      I really liked its guest appearance in the HHGTTG movie

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

    3. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: HELLLLOOOOOO

      Ahem... here:

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

  19. mark 63 Silver badge

    holograms

    dosent that 3ds nds wotsit do exactly what is being described?

  20. BozNZ
    Thumb Up

    Awesome

    Just found a load of Tomorrow People episodes on You Tube, not quite as awesome as when I was 10, but yehaa!

  21. mark 63 Silver badge
    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?

  22. LDS Silver badge

    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.

    1. Jedit
      Thumb Up

      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).

    2. LaeMing Silver badge

      Nope

      The 3DS image is still on a flat screen. It just uses optics to send different bits of the screen to each eye. The image is not projected above the screen, even if it looks it. You certainly can't walk around it or share the image without being quite intimate with others, personal-space-wise.

      When 'real' 3D comes out, one wonders what it will be marketed as, since they are fast wearing out the term on what could far more accurately be described as 'stereoscopic'.

    3. Graham Dawson

      Both predated, of course...

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

  23. MikeyD85

    Beam me up Scotty

    As a phrase has never appeared in Star Trek. the closest that has been said on screen in "Scotty, beam me up." :D

    1. Elmer Phud
      Headmaster

      missing something

      To be pedantic, you are missing the Jimmy Edwards icon.

  24. Lan ser
    Coat

    Jaunting?

    The belt was purely a guidance mechanism like a rudder, the ability and power to jaunt came from the mind of the jaunter

    1. Graham Dawson

      Familiar

      Sounds like The Stars: My Destination to me.

      1. Stephen 10

        My copy is called Tiger! Tiger!

        And to mention 'jaunte' (correct spelling) without mentioning Bester's novel which coined the term is to deprive the unedified of the chance of reading a classic that has stood the test of time.

        Tomorrow's People rocked in the 70s.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Stop

          Jaunting

          Yep, I recall, also, that the "Jaunting" belt was an aid to controlling the innate ability of the wearer. It didn't actually confer the power. Without the belt you were likely to end up in hyperspace...

          The series was great initially, but it got really silly towards the end and greatly outstayed its welcome.

          Anyone remember the episode where they were chased by enormous pink bubbles? Augh..

  25. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Bona Teleportation

    Sandy to Julian "Beam me up!"

    ""Homo superior"? They just don't come like that anymore. Ooh er." Classic!!!!

    1. Alien Doctor 1.1

      Come on people, how young are you?

      Oh You Pretty Things

      Don't you know you're driving your

      Mamas and Papas insane

      Oh You Pretty Things

      Don't you know you're driving your

      Mamas and Papas insane

      Let me make it plain

      You gotta make way for the Homo Superior

      Bowie - '71

      1. Roger Ruffley
        Coat

        Superior homo what?

        "You gotta make way for the Homo Superior

        Bowie - '71"

        Written allegedly after a chance meeting between Bowie and the creator of the Tomorrow People while he was pitching the show to Thames TV.

        I won't say that Bowie must have been into the Tomorrow People... because that joke is just too cheap.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Come on people, how young are you?

        Not old enough to have been aware of Bowie in '71, but old enough to remember Homosapien. by Pete Shelley in '81. Banned by the beeb for the Homo Superior line therein.

  26. The Nameless Mist
    Flame

    Entry #2 Holodeck

    If you're going to write about Star Trek then at least have your writes check what they type.

    #2 HOLODECK refers to the SECURITY protocols.

    Its SAFETY PROTOCOLS.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    telephathy

    " women would be reminded every seven seconds what us men are really thinking about, so security measures would need to be taken."

    and the other 6 seconds in every 7 will be filled with: football, where did I leave my glasses? is it mealtime yet, I need to scratch myself......

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Pedant alert...

    ...OK, sombody else mentioned Babel Fish, so I'm not the only pedant here!!

    The scientist in Barbarella (played by the great Milo O'Shea) was, of course, Duran Duran (not Durand) - sounds like a great name for a band if you ask me.

    1. LaeMing Silver badge
      Go

      You end up needing

      to host a Disaster Area concert, just for some peace-and-quiet!

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Stop

      ITYF...

      His name is indeed Durand Durand - see IMDB or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbarella_(film)#Cast

      Interestingly, this also points out that the Orgasmatron is technically the "Excessive Machine".

  29. Just Thinking

    Sorry but...

    a cloaking device to make my parked car invisible? Not the best idea I ever heard.

    1. philbo

      Exactly

      I was thinking that, too - you may avoid vandals, but that other guy in the Hummer who thinks he's just spotted a free parking space might cause just a little bit of damage.

  30. Matthew 3

    SEP field

    I still believe that Douglas Adams' "Somebody Else's Problem" field as a cheaper alternative to the cloaking device is pure genius.

    I want one for my car.

    1. Elmer Phud

      SEP field

      Douglas Adams was writing about existing tech there.

      Fall over in the street - somebody else's problem.

      etc. etc.

    2. NogginTheNog
      Pint

      Ditto

      The SEP field is still Douglas's best idea (on a LONG list of brilliant ideas), one which I still refer to regularly :-)

      Beer, to the memory of Mr. Adams.

      1. nyelvmark
        Pint

        I'll join you in that...

        But I'll drink, by preference, to the infinite improbabilty field, since it will obviously work if we can figure out how to make it.

        What is this stuff? Watney's Red Barrel? Haven't we got any real beer?

  31. AbortRetryFail

    Kiln People

    The temporary cloning of yourself onto a humanoid "blank" in David Brin's "Kiln People" would be pretty useful.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Lensman

    Hopefully over-egged posturing in silver-painted Nazi riding pants and silver muscle suits won't catch on either...

    And what is that he's holding in his left hand???

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Kim Kinnison is not happy ...

      His hat. (It's grey with a reddish lining)

      And the uniform is grey/gray not silver.

    2. Baskitcaise
      Black Helicopters

      what is that he's holding in his left hand???

      Probably a remote for his plane as it looks like it has wings?

      ( Sorry )

  33. Stewart Knight

    Lightsabre

    Nuff said!!!

  34. ttuk
    Paris Hilton

    X-Ray specs

    Can't believe these weren't on the list.. Why are they taking so long?

    Paris of course

  35. Knoydart
    Grenade

    The 5th Element

    How about the gun that Zorg offers to his contract killers, which has the repeat button and will always the hit the same location as the initial shot, no matter where you aim it?

    HG for blowing things up...

  36. Cameron Colley

    I could go for a Lucy Liu 'bot, as show on Futurama.

    And a Rat Thing would make an excellent home security system. Which reminds me there are a few uses I could think of for Reason too...

  37. g e
    WTF?

    Great googly moogly!

    You want a Bill n Ted timebooth over a TARDIS!!!

    Priorites gentlefolk, PLEASE!

    1. stucs201

      If you're going for stuff from Snowcrash

      then I'd go for smart-wheels on my car to deal with all the speed bumps.

      (This assumes I can't just have a flying car)

    2. CaptainHook

      Cool gun but...

      It was certainly a feature packed weapon but I never did understand the point of the replay button.

      What are you going to shoot which doesn't get stopped by the first bullet but does get hit by the second bullet?

      I suppose if it was really accurate you could keep dinging the same piece of body armour until it finally gives way.

      1. John H Woods

        and ...

        "I suppose if it was really accurate you could keep dinging the same piece of body armour until it finally gives way."

        AND ... you can fire all but the initial shot from behind full cover - you only need to pop out to hit the target with the 'tag' (like the Bullseye rifle in Resistance).

    3. Mephistro Silver badge

      U.R.R.

      "ULTIMA RATIO REGUM"

    4. nyelvmark

      ...will always the hit the same location as the initial shot...

      That's going to look pretty stupid if you missed.

  38. Ru
    Boffin

    "time travel defies the laws of physics"

    Wrong.

    Time travel to a point in time before the time machine is invented seems pretty unlikely mind you... otherwise we'd presumably be seeing the time travellers already. Time travel in general though: no laws against that.

    1. nyelvmark
      Boffin

      cogito ergo sum

      It might be debatable whether time travel breaches the laws of physics - I think that would take us into areas of debate about what the laws of physics are.

      However, it should be apparent that time travel breaches the rules of common sense. It's for this reason that the only good modern time-travel stories are satires. Silverberg's "Up the Line" is recommended reading for an enumeration of the paradoxes.

      Time travel is inconceivable, because positing its existence implies paradoxes - situations where something is both true and false at the same time.

      As to whether "inconceivable" implies "impossible" - Rene Descartes thought so, but you are free to differ.

  39. Mage Silver badge
    Alien

    Peril Glasses

    LCD 3D glasses hacked and hooked up to Stress sensor (heart rate, sweat, Adrenalin)?

    One of the most feasible things on the list, about 100%. Not 10%

    Some of the 80% + items listed are not likely more than 1% likely.

  40. TWB
    Megaphone

    Point of view gun

    Point it at someone who does not see your point of view and hey presto, they see your point of view.

    H2G2

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    THE DEATH STAR

    Why? Because THE DEATH STAR.

  42. jnewco81
    Happy

    "...phallic-shaped weapons of ass destruction"

    Excellent work

  43. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Boffin

    couple of problems

    Both the Lens and the jaunting belt were only amplifiers/controllers, you had to have the basic ability for them to work.

    I personally would like to see a Tom Baker scarf; one that automatically grows shorter or longer, depending on the terrain (short for tangled vegetation - longer for snag-free corridors)

    (Typed wearing my Joe 90 specs)

  44. Lord Lien
    Thumb Up

    Not bad list but.....

    ... where is the hover board from Back To The Future?

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    GSV

    I see a culture GSV is missing from the list too...

    1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: GSV

      We decided against this as none of us has a flat big enough to keep one in.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You'd have to be _very_ persuasive

      Somehow I can't see a GSV agreeing to be owned, but I suppose it might go along with it briefly for a laugh.

  46. Haku

    Wot no Talkie Toaster on the list?

    P.S. Would anyone like any toast?

  47. Haku

    Portal Gun needs to be on that list for sure

    (don't you just hate it when you remember something immediately after hitting the submit button)

  48. Mike Moyle Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Interesting...

    the Lens was my very first thought, actually, but then, I'm old(ish).

    @ ian emery -- Not sure about the jaunting belt, but I think you're wrong about the lens. At the very least, neither Virgil Samms, Rod Kinnison, nor, really, ANY of the patrolmen of "First Lensman" showed any sign of psi abilities before receiving their lenses.

    RE: Homo Superior -- Olaf Stapledon apparentlt\y coined the term in his story "Odd John" in the 1930s, although its most common pop-culture usage was probably from Marvel Comics' "X-Men" -- dating from 1963 (Which is where Bowie probably took the reference from -- he was a comics fan). The Tomorrow People producers could have been familiar with either or both of these usages.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I can't resist adding a few

    #1 Full Invisibility, not chameleon.

    #2 Zat Gun. 1st shot stun, 2nd kill, 3rd Disappear

    #3 Asgard Beaming technology

    #4 The Thinking Front Porch. (in HHGTTG, there was a field of shovels, and every time anyone thinks about a thought a shovel comes out of the ground and wacks them in the face -- perfect for door to door sales and scammers Meanwhile I'll use either the backdoor or beam in and out.)

  50. sisk Silver badge

    Some disagreements

    Peril glasses? Really? All the cool toys from the imagination of Adams and you pick the lame peril glasses? What about the infinite improbability drive? Or the SEP cloak? Or maybe one of the various devices designed to distract you so that you miss when you throw yourself at the ground? Or, heck, even the guide itself (an e-book reader that can tell you anything about anything and is able to puzzle out what you're looking for from a simple question)?

    In Star Trek the replicator is what I'd want to have. 99% of the time they only use it as a glorified microwave, but they show that the things can make pretty much anything. Consider that for a moment. Want an iPad? It's yours as quick as you can say "Computer, iPad". Heck even as just a food dispenser it's freaking awesome, in no small part because it also disposes of the dishes afterward.

    Oh, and holodecks would realistically be no more addictive than World of Warc....eh... nevermind.

    Some other gadgets to consider:

    The sarcophagus from the Stargate shows

    Zatnitticas, also of Stargate origin

    A tasp from Ringworld

    The laser suck-you-into-the-computer thing from Tron

    I'll stop now....I could go all day listing the gadgets I'd like to have from sci-fi.

  51. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Why on earth would you cram into Bill and Ted's TARDIS knockoff - c'mon, a phone box that time travels? - when you could lounge in the near infinite interior of the real thing?

    And, while I'm here: WTF? No flying car? If it has to be Media Coupled to pass muster, I'll take Korben Dallas' taxi from The Fifth Element.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Want a Portal gun!

    The portal gun from Portal 2 needs to be on the list!

  53. bob, mon!
    Boffin

    Larry Niven transport pads

    Niven did transporters very nicely. Included conservation of momentum as one of their practical concerns, instead of just assuming it went away.

  54. FozzyBear Silver badge

    My fav

    Would have to be the memory wiper doohickey from MIB.

  55. Pan Narrans
    Paris Hilton

    Pron

    Admit it, *every* one of these techs will be used primarily for pron or at the very least some related form of sexual activity.

  56. Steve McPolin
    Pirate

    Transporter rules...

    First, the transporter renders most of the other gadgets useless. Want money; transport the bank vault contents to your basement. Want to be invisible; transport around continuously. Want to kill someone; move them 10ft underground. Almost any problem can be solved by the transporter.

    Second, the Ray Bradbury clone+kill model of transporting isn't the only one possible - linking two points in space via space-time is a more compelling idea. You needn't clone anything, just superimpose the two points in space then remove the imposition leaving the payload behind. Zero time, regardless of distance. Maybe I should patent it.

    Third, Holodeck is 80%? Are you serious? To say its in its infancy is to say that protozoa are akin to infant humans. Fuck, all Sony's game portal can figure out is how to broadcast private information all over the net ( Sony engineer: "the ftp logs are full of anonymous"; Shill: "we were attacked by anonymous" ).

    Transporters for all.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Alien Tech

    Surely the Interociter and the Krell IQ boosting machine should be in this list? Every home should have one, particularly the latter if you live in Essex.

    1. Mephistro Silver badge

      The mindet at Sony ...

      reminds me of something I read long ago.

      'Sony engineer: "the ftp logs are full of anonymous"; Shill: "we were attacked by anonymous" '

      "Who blinded you? Nobody did!"

  58. juice Bronze badge

    Teleportation would solve a lot of problems...

    I pondered this while stuck on a train a while ago: teleportation would potentially solve a lot of issues (aside from the obvious transportation benefits). Imagine harvesting plasma from the sun (and/or sending toxic waste the other way), or setting up a perpetual motion machine by using a gravity well to pull a mass between two portals. You could even harvest "negative" energy - imagine cooling your refrigerator by pulling liquid helium from Pluto.

    Of course, you've also got the political and social disruption which would come with freely available teleportation, but that's another story...

  59. Mark York 3 Silver badge
    Alert

    Jaunting Belts

    IIRC the belts were merely a navigational aid, as per The Slaves of Jedikah (Ohhh look Mr Lucas - I see what you did there) & the creators own original novel The Visitor, where TIM chides Stephen for jaunting into the lab without using his belt in an early chapter.

    Jeesh I still remember this crap.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Somewhat Evilly ...

    Sharks with frickin lasers on their heads ...

  61. Chris Hawkins
    Linux

    Hologram communication

    Sorry to spoil the party but tomogram 3D communication, as against hologram, has already been demonstrated using live feeds beaming pseudo holograms into studios!

    CNN used the technology provided by an Israeli co. to beam live representations of one of their reporters, Jessica Yellin and Will.I.am of Black Eye Peas fame from the Obama Victory Party in Chicago to their studios.

    See:

    http://goo.gl/KEFrl

    http://goo.gl/52D8W

    http://www.virtualvutech.com

    and :)))) here

    http://goo.gl/TI6cb

    These articles from down-under suggests that full live hologram transmission may have already taken place in the Antipodes.

    See:

    http://goo.gl/qO7ms

    http://goo.gl/j1Rxo

  62. Martin Howe
    Boffin

    The Tomorrow People also had Matter Transporters...

    ... for use by us normal folks who can't jaunt. ISTR these were belt-worn devices also.

  63. Charles 9 Silver badge

    Someone's got a good memory.

    I was surprised someone managed to bring up E. E. Smith and the Lensman series, a rather old piece of science fiction (and given our knowledge today, a HEAVY emphasis on the fiction). Still, the very concept of accurate mind-reading in general has a number of moral gotchas, as noted in the article itself, plus there's the potential issue of how to make the system foolproof (as in incapable of being fooled by a tightly-focused mind).

    BTW, while there was only one official female Lensman in the series, her 5 children (of which four were girls) all transcended beyond normal Lensmen. Plus there is a Lensman book written by someone else that presented another female.

  64. saundby

    Two thumbs up for the Lens

    Once I wasn't sure which I'd want more--a Lens or the powers of the Mule/Second Foundation.

    Things missing from the list:

    Foundation shield belt.

    Dune shield belt (are they compatible?)

    Tantalus Field

    Slidewalks.

    And I'll second the Larry Niven teleportation pads and Krell mind device (suitably modified for humans.) Add to that the Krell power plant and my personal id monster.

  65. Joey

    Anti-grav

    Haven't you ever wished you could park your car 9 feet in the air out of reach of the parking warden. It would just hang there - like bricks don't!

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