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10 Fictional Objects We Wish Were Real

We’ve all had that moment watching a movie, tv show, playing a game, or reading a book when there is a cool fictional object we wish were real. To keep this list focused I’ve come up with a few rules.

The Rules:

  1. Nothing unique or specific to only one person — Wonder Woman's Magic Lasso won't qualify.

  2. No fully enclosed vehicles, so no Back to the Future DeLorean or TARDIS.

  3. No robots, artificial intelligences, or androids.

  4. Nothing that is part of a building or vehicle, which disqualifies Star Trek’s transporters.

  5. No suits, costumes, or mechs. Sorry Iron Man, you're out.

  6. Can't already be real (obviously).

Rule #1 is a very limiting rule. My thinking was that if it was real but unique, why would you be able to own it? Now for the wishlist.


Lightsaber

(Star Wars)

Why it's cool
Used by Force wielders, both Jedi and Sith, the lightsaber is a blade of pure plasma suspended in a containment field. It cuts through nearly anything, glows in a variety of colors, and makes cool sounds. An elegant weapon for a more civilized age.

Closest real-world equivalent
Powerful lasers used in industrial fabrication are capable of cutting thick sheets of metal. But we don't yet have anything close to a containment field able to limit the length of a laser beam. We also don't have a strong enough power source that is able to fit in a hilt.

I want it now
The Inferno by Wicked Lasers is the most powerful consumer-ready device that uses 750 mW+ and can do many destructive or helpful things.


Vortex Manipulator

(Doctor Who)

Why it's cool
Used by Jack Harkness, The Doctor, River Song, Time Agents, and Clara, the vortex manipulator is able to jump to any point in space or time (time machine and teleporter). This small device is no bigger than a watch and, in my opinion, is the most powerful object on the list.

Closest real-world equivalent
The closest thing we have to time travel is moving near the speed of light, but that only lets you move forward in time. Quantum teleportation only works on the scale of a couple atoms, but nowhere near what we would call teleportation.

I want it now
Hop on a plane to take you to a different time zone, or fly a jet at supersonic speed to travel fractions of a second into the future.


Hoverboard

(Back to the Future Part II and III)

Why it's cool
Used in Back to the Future: Part II and III, the hoverboard is a lightweight skateboard without wheels that can float a foot off the ground. Because you’re off the ground you can go places a skateboard could never go, and with enough power you can even hover across water. Because you wouldn’t have much friction to slow you down you could reach insane speeds.

Closest real-world equivalent
A few attempts with powerful leaf blowers have been able to replicate the "hover" effect, but controlling it has been an entirely different issue. Quantum locking, a.k.a. flux pinning, gained a lot of attention thanks to a semi recent video. But the tech won't be feasible until we discover room-temperature superconductors.

I want it now
The Marble is a electrically powered skateboard capable of traveling 10 miles on a single charge, reaches top speeds of 25 MPH, weighs 9.9 pounds, and pulls you up hills with a 15% grade. Available in early 2015. There are other powered skateboards, but this is the most advanced.


Neuralyzer

(Men In Black)

Why it's cool
A tool for M.I.B., the neuralyzer lets its agents selectively wipe someone's memory. About the size of a cigar, it has controls that let them select a time period they would like to "rewrite." After someone is flashed with a neuralyzer an auditory suggestion is given that the neuralyzed person will believe is real.

Closest real-world equivalent
SR-8993 is a chemical currently in clinical trials on people with PTSD. To be able to remember something a memory must move from short-term memory into long-term memory. This process is called encoding. When a memory is recalled it's moved out of long-term into short-term. SR-8993 blocks the brain's ability to encode or re-encode short-term memory into long-term memory, effectively erasing it as if it was a dream with fuzzy details.

I want it now
Lack of sleep keeps your brain from being able to encode memories into long-term. This is why sleep is so very important to learning. Naps can make you smarter, that's the excuse I use for my midday siesta.


Babel Fish

(The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

Why it's cool
Small, yellow, lives in your ear... and translates any language into something you understand by interfacing directly with the speech centers of your brain.

Closest real-world equivalent
Computers still don't understand and hear human speech perfectly, but they are constantly improving. iTranslate Voice 2 is a voice to voice translator for iOS and Voice Translator Free is its comparable Android equivalent. These smartphone apps are pretty mind-blowing and only a few years old.

I want it now
The babel fish only translates what you hear. The Word Lens app translates signs and text. Pair it with one of the aforementioned voice-to-voice apps, and you could confidently travel to foreign language nations, neighborhoods, and restaurants.


Tricorder

(Star Trek)

Why it's cool
A diagnostic tool, data recorder, and scanner, the tricorder is a laboratory worth of tools in a small portable device. The ability to quickly diagnose an ill patient or malfunctioning tech saves lives and time.

Closest real-world equivalent
XPRIZE in partnership with Qualcomm are offering $10 million dollars in prize money to teams that can build a working medical tricorder. There are 5 teams that are very close to making a real one.

I want it now
Health and fitness tracker the “Carbon Steel Edition” by Basic tracks your heart rate, skin temperature, perspiration rate, sleep pattern, and the types of exercise you’ve been doing. These small personal devices are finally affordable and in the future will become more advanced.


Stargate

(Stargate SG-1)

Why it's cool
The Stargate is built of and powered by a fictional superconductive mineral naqahdah. It’s able to create a stable wormhole across the universe to another Stargate. Created the by the Ancients, these Stargates were built and scattered across the universe mostly to planets that could sustain life, although they have also been placed inside large ships, and some are free floating in space.

Closest real-world equivalent
Quantum teleportation only works in the lab and is most likely going to be used for communication. As of now we don’t have a way of creating a wormhole, let alone a stable and controllable one.

I want it now
Ava 500 by iRobot is a virtual telepresence robot used in business and hospitals. It’s like Skype but with a robot you can control to move about the location it’s in.


Point of View Gun

(The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

Why it's cool
The person firing the weapon is able to share their “point of view” with someone. While it’s not mind control, it does transmit ideas and feelings. It is effective at ending nearly all arguments because the person being shot is able to understand the wielder’s “point of view.”

Closest real-world equivalent
We do have lots of technology emerging soon that will be able to read your mind. Current tech is limited to experimental flight navigation and prosthetic limb control. Transmitting information, memories, or emotions into the brain still looks a long way from being real.

I want it now
Communicating ideas and emotions is the work of artists, musicians, poets, writers, dancers, filmmakers, actors, and makers. You might already be one of these. If not, become one. It can be emotionally rewarding and often fun.


Pokeball

(Pokemon)

Why it's cool
Turn any pokemon/living organism into energy and store it in a device the size of a golf ball. Regardless of the captured creature’s size, the pokeball remains incredibly light. Some variants can even heal captured pokemon.

Closest real-world equivalent
We have nothing that can turn energy into matter or turn matter into raw energy. We do burn a lot of things for energy, but that’s not really the same thing.

I want it now
Play the game Pokemon. I’m likely opening a can of worms, but I really wish Nintendo games were legally available on iOS and Android.


Magic Wands

(Various)

Why it's cool
They enhance or grant magical ability and are both offensive and defensive weapons, tools for conjuring objects and spirits, and back scratchers.

Closest real-world equivalent
We yet to invent magic, but technology of the future will be indistinguishable from magic

I want it now
Smartphones — only widely in existence for 7 years — are getting connected to more things everyday. You can control every aspect of a smarthome, tell your car to start the air conditioning, communicate wirelessly to billions of people, and be guided to places you’ve never been.


Honorable Mention

Jetpack (Various)

Why it didn't qualify
Rule #6 — Already real but not widely available due to safety and cost. If they were widely and cheaply available, I can see flashmobs taking things to an insane level. Look out Area 51.



Sonic Screwdriver (Doctor Who)

Why it didn't qualify
Rule #1 — The fictional sonic technology is used in more than just a screwdriver. But The Doctor has claimed to invent it. All other users of a “sonic” seem to have one once used by The Doctor.



Invisibility Cloak (Harry Potter)

Why it didn't qualify
Rule #1 — The Invisibility Cloak used by Harry Potter is a Deathly Hallow and is unique. While other invisibility cloaks exist in the Potter-verse, they fade or lose the invisibility effect over time. Had we seen other invisibility cloaks in action in the books or movies, it might have qualified.

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