From science fiction to reality
For many adults around the world who were born in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, growing up was indeed fun as it conjures a lot of memories. The era was famous for the advent and influx of science fiction books and movies on the global entertainment landscape; this genre of fiction also referred in some quarters as SciFi or SF often tells stories about science and technology of the future. With a plot that creates situations different from those of both the present day and the known past and in a great way dominated pop culture of the time necessitating the viewing audience to seek to own the amazing gadgets and technologies exhibited in the motion pictures and literatures.
In Nigeria science fiction TV mini-series like Doctor Who, Star Trek, Galactica 1980 and Terrahawks dominated the TV screens during this period; also, in the ‘90s X-Files, Stargate-1 joined the growing ranks of miniseries that were keeping viewers glued to their small screens.
A highpoint of these imaginary tales is the rate at which most of the gadgets and technologies that were used in them have made their way to becoming present realities and everyday gadgets and techs. A notable few are flat screen TVs, instant messaging, 3D printers, iPad/tablets, Google glasses, ATM and credit cards, Bluetooth devices, video calls and video cams.
Fritz Lang’s 1927 classic Metropolis is widely considered the first science fiction movie, and the silent film from WeimarGermany helped give rise to a uniquely modern genre. The ability of science fiction to allegorize present day problems, combined with the inclusion of fantastic technology has made the genre incredibly popular and one needn’t look far to see the impact that science fiction stories have had on society.
Humans have always enjoyed dwelling on the future and most remain optimistic that advances in technology will usher in a new golden age. Unfortunately, this Earthly utopia always seems to remain just a few years ahead of us.
Analyzing past predictions of future scientific advances as well as examining the performance of tech companies in fulfilling these modern prophecies, it is apparent that they have contributed immensely to bringing humanity their fantasies. One of these leading tech companies is LG Electronics with its rich plethora of future-looking, sweeping, propulsive and enterprising products.
On a closer look, one will find that the technology we enjoy today often surpasses even the most fantastic predictions of science fiction in the past. While we may lack interstellar travel and household robots, advances in smart technology and the growing prevalence of IoT devices has given us a 2015 that past writers and filmmakers would never have thought possible. Besides, at the rate we are moving, home-grown clones and vacations on Mars really don’t seem that far off.
Perhaps more than in any other industry, technology companies cannot afford to rest on their laurels. Firms are expected to constantly push the boundaries of technological innovation in order to stay a step ahead of their competition. Despite the success that previous products may have enjoyed, consumers are constantly asking, “Well what have you done for me lately?”
Though there is certainly a niche market for retro technology, the vast majority of consumers make purchases based on how devices stack up against one another and are willing to switch brands if necessary. Apple is widely regarded as the technology company with the most loyal user base, but studies have shown that even its devoted consumers were more than willing to drop the iPhone as more and more devices emerged that were capable of performing at or above the level of Apple’s iconic smartphone. Consumers are constantly looking for the next big thing, and it will be important for LG to continue its heavy investment in research and development in order for the company to continue releasing competitive products. Firms are rewarded for innovation, not imitation. If LG hopes to remain one of the top electronics companies in the world, it will have to retain its current consumers and create dynamic products that are capable of winning over rival customers.
While the technology that we see in science fiction movies may seem too farfetched for reality, but this deck will go on to show that the same things were once said about technology that underpins our lives today. As fantastic as it may seem at times, science fiction can be an amazing resource for engineers looking for “the next big thing”. Contrary to the predictions of author Isaac Asimov, the biggest change to life in the 21st century has been the invention and rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets. Predicted by famed inventor Nikola Tesla as far back as 1926, smartphones and tablets have revolutionized the way that we consume media, communicate and even think.
The iPhone kicked the digital era into high gear when it was first released in 2007. The following years saw constituent smartphone technology grow by leaps and bounds, with the devices improving dramatically in a short period of time. Coupled with the increased capabilities of smartphones, their rapidly dropping price led to sales of over 1.2 billion units in 2014 alone, up 28% over 2013. The expanding reach of smartphones is helping increase global connectivity and creating more value for the app market, opening up new revenue streams. These apps have also made smartphones into the center of our lives.
The smartphones and tablets that we have today are far more capable than the devices that we see portrayed even in movies set in the far distant future. Devices from movies tended to only be used for reading or watching video. While these are important functions of modern smart devices, the technology that we have today far outstrips what even the most wide-eyed optimist could have predicted just 20 years ago. The future still looks incredibly bright for smartphones and tablets. (silverbullet)