The future gets closer every day. If you showed someone, say, Google's Tilt Brush even 10 years ago, it would sound like something out of The Matrix.
And while seeing a world that doesn't yet exist is exciting, it’s also terrifying. But dreamy ideas are already out there, in nascent form. The tech industry just needs to run with them.
Here's a roundup of some concepts you might remember from TV, movies and books … but probably weren't expecting to be part of your everyday life quite yet.
Start counting down your electric sheep.
If you haven’t, stream the British show Black Mirror: it’s the modern-day Twilight Zone, and has the uncanny ability to make the near future seem particularly dreadful. In the episode "The Entire History of You," people had devices implanted in their brains to record everything they ever saw or heard, like a hidden, DVR-ish Google Glass. Spoiler alert: Like most of the show's episodes, it didn't end well.
Where it's at: Sony recently filed a patent for contact lenses that can record video AND play those videos back right on your eyes. All you need to do is blink.
Demolition Man was a strange film starring Sly Stallone and Sandra Bullock. Even stranger? Their non-touchy virtual reality sex scene.
Where it's at: Virtual reality porn is already hitting the consumer market, with companies like Lovense offering “teledildonic sex toys” for making long-distance hookups more tactile. It's only a matter of time before someone combines the two — giving you a good reason to never leave the house.
While not the first film to do this, the severely underrated Edge of Tomorrow (the movie where Tom Cruise is living through a futuristic Groundhog's Day) uses exoskeleton technology to become a super soldier. With it, he can run faster, jump higher and carry an alarming amount of weight.
Where it's at: It's already here. Panasonic revealed a few different exoskeletons in a recent video. They can help people with disabilities, as well as those working in industrial settings. Batteries and the video-game-esque ability to reset your life when you die not included.
The talk of futuristic tech always comes back to The Matrix. Remember the scene when Neo needs "lots of guns"? It turned into his own personal VR shopping spree.
Where it's at: The company VRCommerce calls out that scene from The Matrix when describing their product, which gives retail customers an almost-tangible shopping experience from the comfort of their own home.
Inline images via Mashable, Panasonic and Google