When Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was airing on television in the mid-90's, the show portrayed handheld touch-screen devices with powerful computing ability and graphical user interfaces.
In reality during 1990's the best technology we had was Windows 3.1 and a Pentium processor. The '2G' mobile phones of the time were just starting to become pocket-sized, but bag phones ruled. Apple attempted to create a tablet computer in 1993 released as the Newton, which went over poorly, but laid the foundation for PDAs and other pocket devices of today.
In 1902 there was the film Le Voyage dans la lune, where men made a daring landing on the moon. In 1902 man could not even fly yet, but in 1969 men set foot on the mysterious lunar landscape.
What all this means is that often science fiction lays the groundwork for science fact. Granted, time travel would be really cool, but that part of sci-fi is highly unlikely, not to mention potentially devastating. Faster-than-light travel is a maybe, since no one has ever pushed hard enough to really get close to that barrier. I actually read Albert Einstein's Relativity, and I'm still not convinced that it is truly a barrier.
Imagine the possibilities, though. Much science fiction is fact today. You carry around more computing power in your pocket than the most powerful military computers of the 1980's. Even the Space Shuttle had less computing power than your smartphone.
The latest and most interesting technology development is the invention of 'smellivision'. Not sure if I spelled that right. But, it is true. Scientists have developed a way of electronically simulating certain odors. These devices could be made available in television receivers. Then, the aroma would begin. True 4-D television. Not available in stores, yet.
Imagine, Bobby Flay cooking up a nice steak and shrimp, your mouth watering as it sizzles there. Or, maybe the ad for your local florist fills the air with the scent of freshly cut roses.
Not sure that the technology would go over very well with shows like CSI.
Matthew Hinman is the Southwest Region Online Coordinator with American Consolidated Media. He is involved with the development and implementation of ACM's websites in Texas and other areas.