Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2012: Science Fiction Dreams That Came True

Anaysis by Jesse Emspak  - Discovery News - Wed Dec 26, 2012 

As a longtime reader of science fiction, it's always interesting to see how the visions of writers eventually become real. Take Arthur C. Clarke's letter to Wireless World in 1945, which details the geostationary communications satellite network everyone uses today. The satellites are in what is called the "Clarke Orbit." And Isaac Asimov wrote frequently about humanoid robots, which are becoming more common in research labs -- although we have yet to see R. Daneel Olivaw from Asimov's Robot series.
So inspired by these writers and others, I decided to take a look at 2012 and the futuristic technologies that are materializing before our eyes.
ANALYSIS: Robot Prostitutes, the Future of Sex Tourism
Bionic Limbs
The term "cyborg" was coined in 1960 by Manfred E. Clynes and Nathan S. Kline, in an article they wrote for the journal Astronautics. Since then bionic limbs have been a trope in many pieces of fiction -– The Six Million Dollar Man of the 1970s, the Borg of the Star Trek franchise, and even Darth Vader. In 2012 for the first time, a paralyzed woman was able to control a robotic limb and feed herself directly with her brain. Continuing work with primates demonstrated that it's possible to make the brain-computer interface efficient enough to design more realistic movement into the limbs. The bionic limbs so far don't look anything like their fictional counterparts, as they are still connected via external electrodes to the skull. But that dream seems to be a lot closer than it was even a decade ago.

Full list at Discovery News

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