Science Fiction Inventions: What Authors Imagined, Inventors Brought to Life
Various Science Fiction Ideas Spark Inventions
Inventions didn’t just pop out of nowhere. In reality, a lot of stories have inspired inventors to come up with new ideas and concepts that eventually helped science and technology progress. Science fiction influenced innovators to create a large watercraft to sail the earth’s vast oceans. Devices that were once dreamed to provide everyone with convenience are in the palms of our hands. All these were once a writer’s fantasy and then became one inventor’s reality. Here are just a few of the inventions inspired by science fiction in the history of the world:
Author Jules Verne was the first one to imagine the submarine in his sci-fi book Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea. The story stirred the imagination of its readers, especially Simon Lake, the inventor of the Argonaut Junior. He submitted his first draft to the US Navy in 1892.After three years, the Lake Submarine Company of New Jersey started building the Argonaut.The vessel was the first one of its kind to make a successful voyage in open sea in 1898. Simon then received a congratulatory telegram from Jules Verne, the man who inspired him to bring the fictional submarine to life.
In 1886, Jules Verne envisioned a flying ship named the Albatross in his book Robur the Conqueror. Igor Sikorsky, an avid reader of Verne’s books and a fan of him, was fascinated by Verne’s vivid and detailed description of the Albatross and dreamed of creating his own model someday. His first attempt failed, and he discarded the concept for 30 years, which led him to focus on airplanes. With three decades’ worth experience in aviation, he attempted to create a helicopter once more, and Jules Verne’s imagination finally came true.
The handheld device that allows people to communicate instantly is a science fiction–inspired invention. Martin Cooper got the idea from the famous sci-fi television series Star Trek. The fictional device was known as the “communicator” in the series and was used by Captain Kirk, which influenced Martin and his team to develop a handheld mobile device in 1973. It only took them 90 days to finish their first prototype.
Another science fiction invention is the credit card, from the brilliant mind of Edward Bellamy in his 1888 sci-fi novel Looking Backward. In his book, he visualized the year 2000 as a fantastical world where everything is convenient. Although not everything came into fruition by the prospected year, the description of the credit card and the way it works were eerily accurate.
Truly, credits for these inventions from science go to sci-fi; at the same time, science fiction owes inventors a great honor for bringing their imagination to life.
Ahlin, Charlotte. 2018. “11 Real-Life Inventions Inspired by Science Fiction Novels.” Bustle, May 23. Accessed June 26, 2019. https://www.bustle.com/p/11-real-life-inventions-inspired-by-science-fiction-novels-9090688
Harris, Scott. n.d. “Real Inventions Inspired by Science Fiction.” GRUNGE. Accessed June 26, 2019. https://www.grunge.com/21808/real-inventions-inspired-science-fiction