8 sci-fi gadgets we’d love to see become real products

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From Star Wars's Millennium Falcon to The Dark Knight’s Tumbler, sci-fi and fantasy movies have given us plenty of iconic vehicles over the years. Perhaps none have inspired more viewer envy, however, than the hoverboard first used by Marty McFly in 1989’s Back to the Future Part II. Enabling young Marty to zip, skateboard-like, through busy streets (but don’t think about riding it over water) owning a genuine hoverboard has been the stuff dreams are made of ever since. There have been a few attempts to bring the technology into the real world, but most of these have turned out to be either crushingly disappointing hoaxes or, frankly, a bit rubbish.Hey, at least Nike has promised us Back to the Future-style self-lacing shoes for 2015. That’s a start, right?(Picture:Back to the Future)

From Star Wars's Millennium Falcon to The Dark Knight’s Tumbler, sci-fi and fantasy movies have given us plenty of iconic vehicles over the years. Perhaps none have inspired more viewer envy, however, than the hoverboard first used by Marty McFly in 1989’s Back to the Future Part II.

Enabling young Marty to zip, skateboard-like, through busy streets (but don’t think about riding it over water) owning a genuine hoverboard has been the stuff dreams are made of ever since. There have been a few attempts to bring the technology into the real world, but most of these have turned out to be either crushingly disappointing hoaxes or, frankly, a bit rubbish.

Hey, at least Nike has promised us Back to the Future-style self-lacing shoes for 2015. That’s a start, right?

(Picture:Back to the Future)


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Virtual reality is going to make everyone sick — including companies that dump billions into it

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The awe you feel will be cut fairly short. Photo: Sergey Galyonkin/CC
The awe you feel will be cut fairly short. Photo: Sergey Galyonkin/CC

When my kids and I walked into a coffee shop one sunny day last month, we were greeted by a row of tables holding laptops with gaming demos.

My son gravitated toward the biggest display, a huge TV screen with a giant, face-obscuring set of goggles set in front of it. This was the Oculus Rift, the latest fad gaming device that places two stereoscopic images in front of your eyes to simulate virtual reality.

He slid the massive black eyewear onto his face, picked up the connected Xbox controller, and started moving his head around. The rest of us could see the game on the TV — an abstract shooting gallery in three dimensions, with my boy at the center, first-person style.

After about five minutes of waving his head around and pressing buttons on the controller, my son pushed the goggles up and off his head and said, “Dad, I think I’m going to be sick.”