It seems redundant nowadays to lay out every single instance of accurately predicted technology that has come from Star Trek. Everywhere you look technology from Star Trek has or is becoming a reality. But now that Star Trek is firmly in the realm of Reboot we can safely assume that its potential for imaginative SciTech predictions has come to an end. So where do we go from here? Which great SciFi series can we look to for predictions about our future technologies?
Enter Continuum. Aside from the exceptional storytelling and character development, Continuum is a treasure trove of highly intuitive SciTech predictions. The following is a breakdown of what I think are the most likely near-future technologies that Continuum has shown us.
One of, if not the coolest gadget in Kiera’s arsenal is her smart-suit. With touch-technology and display that is integrated into the fabric, Kiera can control the suit’s color along with all the built in functions, like a cloaking device, or repulsive bullet shield. The idea that our clothes will become wearable technology isn’t so far-fetched. There have already been experiments with fabric that can create an electric current either from friction, or the movement of the wearer. Perhaps in the future OLED-like threads might be woven into fabric to create all sorts of “hidden” interfaces. Maybe this technology could be used to monitor the health of the wearer and alert medical professionals in the case of an emergency. Either way, knowing what we know about the inter-connectivity of devices already, smart clothing is right around the corner.
Neural Implant Technology
One of the most important pieces of tech in Continuum is the neural implant Kiera, and all Protector’s have installed in their heads, their CMR. This tech allows them to process data from their surroundings at an astounding rate, and correlate that data with stored information to make better decisions about all sorts of things. This implant also connects the owner to a network from which they can communicate with people at HQ, or even others with an implant. This technology also has the ability to store memories for later viewing, such as in court where accurate testimony is critical. This level of biologically integrated tech is probably the most far off of the other tech on this list, but even so, the baby steps have been taken.
While progress on this front might not be as flashy as the others there have been advancements in ocular technology. From contact lenses that zoom in, to implants helping people regain vision, it is a field of study with the potential to help a lot of people in the near future. In Continuum, Kiera is constantly absorbing information about the world around her using enhanced eyes. While much of the technology in Continuum was devised as a means of controlling the population, it does show the potential for developing technologies that can both benefit those who need help, as well as enhance those whose job requires it. Recently news of contact lenses that enable the wearer to have infrared vision has surfaced. Not a bad start!
Personal Cloaking Technology
From Harry Potter’s magic cloak, to futuristic SciFi visions of advanced military tech, the cloaking device has always been more of a tongue-in-cheek conversation point than anything else. But even on this front advancements are being made. While still imperfect, several groups have built “cloaks” that can divert an onlooker’s gaze to something other than what’s really there. In clinical and lab settings, the effect is still not much more than a curiosity, whose to say that old-fashioned Gillie Suit used by the military isn’t already being phased out? Of course that’s mere speculation, but if there is one tech on this list that seems the most unlikely, yet highly possible at the same time, I think cloaking tech is it.
Wide Ranging Invasive Surveillance
This is a tricky one, since it strays slightly from the focus of “cool future-tech”. Omnipresent, near omniscient surveillance systems have always been a plaything of science fiction writers, but can we even call this technology “futuristic” since invasive, all-seeing surveillance is being exposed at ever level of society, from companies like Facebook sharing browsing data, to cell phone providers selling conversations to the government. From the vast amount of data being collected on ordinary citizens, to the exceptionally wide-spread surveillance camera networks being deployed in many cities around the world, what really is left besides the direct invasion of personal privacy. And who’s to say we aren’t at that point already?
Science fiction will always lead the imagination of its viewers to devise and create the technology of the future. While almost every SciFi offering aids in this process, some do so far more than others, and with far more accuracy. For decades it was Star Trek that lead the revolution, but I think now that torch has been passed to Continuum! The 3rd season of Continuum premiers Friday, April 4th @ 10pm on SyFy in the US!!!