The Future is Now: Sci-Fi Gadgets that are Actually Real

Self-Lacing Shoes

Ever since we saw Back to the Future II, we’ve been waiting to get our hands on a pair of the self-lacing Nike shoes that Marty McFly wore in the year 2015. The 21st century sneakers featured power laces that not only provided a custom fit but also eliminated the pesky problem of trailing shoelaces. Just one year late, Nike announced the release of their HyperAdapt shoes in 2016 and people flocked to pre-order the futuristic footwear for themselves.

These slick sneaks provide the wearer with a custom fit and come with cool LED lights in the heels, but unfortunately this also means the shoes need to be charged from time to time. Before you add these shoes to your Christmas list, note the $720 price tag. Let’s hope someone really loves you.

Automatic Doors

Next time you go to the grocery store, stop and admire the simple pleasure of the automatic door and be in awe over the fact that it was dreamed up nearly 120 years ago.

Prolific science fiction author H.G. Wells, best known for his works The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, wrote of an electric door that disappears up into the ceiling in his serialized story When the Sleeper Wakes, which was published in 1899. Nearly 60 years after Wells’ story was published, his dream became a reality when engineers Dee Horton and Lew Hewitt invented the automatic sliding doors that are so widely used today.


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Although many believe that the iPad was first predicted by Star Trek: The Next Generation, which featured a device known as the PADD, we have to give this one to Arthur C. Clarke who featured a similar device some 20 years earlier in his 1968 novel 2001: A Space Odyssey.

In his work, Clarke described a device called a “Newspad” as a tablet-like device that displayed stories from the world’s “electronic papers.” In Kubrick’s subsequent film adaptation, the Newspad appeared looking very much like the iPad we all know and love today. In fact, Samsung even referenced the film in a 2011 patent lawsuit brought on by Apple to point out that the rival company did not in fact invent the concept of the tablet themselves.

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