Have Smart Glasses Proved that Your Favorite Sci-Fi’s Wrong About the Future?

A more practical tech solution

In November 1989, audiences were treated to a new vision of the future in Back to the Future Part II. The sequel to the 1985 blockbuster made some pretty bold claims about life in 2015.

Among Robert Zemeckis’ predictions:

  • Flying cars
  • Hoverboards
  • Self-tying sneakers
  • Suspenders being in fashion?

Most of these premonitions didn’t stand the test of time. Which raises a question: what of the predictions made in modern sci-fi films about the near and distant future?

Are cryogenics primed to accelerate humanity’s deep space programs, as Passengers suggests? Could virtual reality change the world as it does in Ready Player One?

READ: Are Open-World Games Teasing an Augmented Reality Future?

Only time will tell.

Yet, many brave predictions in today’s film are being proven wrong by the rise of Smart Glasses.

Take Prometheus, Avatar and Interstellar. These blockbusters depict space travel in a way that isn’t much different than it is today. Astronauts use physical screens to monitor mission data and work on large computers built into ship dashboards.

But is this accurate? Today, AR (augmented reality) is already changing life in medicine, warehouses, education and more. Personnel no longer need to use physical screens or smartphones to talk with colleagues or receive task updates.

Films like Prometheus explore futures where physical screens aren’t extinct. Could the growing popularity of Smart Glasses and AR tech prove them wrong?
Image credit: Prometheus Forum

A virtual future you can’t touch

Modern Smart Glasses and AR tech suggest the future will look very different than in your favorite sci-fi movies.

Astronauts could have all mission data broadcast directly into their face shields. Like a heads-up display, they’d control digital info using voice commands or by swiping the air as you would a tablet.

Basically, it’d be like using your smartphone without the annoyance of having to look away from a task.

In George Clooney’s The Midnight Sky, chairs on tracks ferry astronauts from screen to screen. With Smart Glasses, explorers could instantly summon screens with a whisper.

We’ll see if upcoming blockbusters foresee a more practical way for humanity to navigate its future.

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