4 Pieces of Technology Inspired by Star Wars
Written by Whitney Troxel • Posted on May 04, 2017
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . . .
When this iconic phrase first appeared on screens on May 25, 1977, audiences were transported to a new world. Viewers were introduced to the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance, Jedi knights and Sith lords, not to mention technology beyond their wildest dreams.
Forty years later, the technology in Star Wars is becoming less science fiction and more fact. Here are 4 pieces of technology that have jumped off the screen into reality.
Holography, the study or production of holograms, has made tremendous strides in recent decades. Companies like Holoxica create static holograms of medical scans, engineering, and architecture, allowing people to see a 3D image from every angle. A study recently published in Nature Photonics presents an “alternative method” of creating holograms that performs 2,600 times better than current technology.
These advancements aren’t at the level of Princess Leia’s message to Obi-Wan, but it’s getting closer. If technology continues to improve, it won’t be long until Skype and FaceTime are replaced by 3D replicas of ourselves. In the meantime, you can make your own hologram using an old CD case and your smartphone.
Whether it’s a simple blaster or the planet-destroying Death Star, lasers are an integral part of the Star Wars universe. They recently became part of our universe as well. The U.S. Navy deployed a 30-kilowatt Laser Weapon System (LaWS) aboard the U.S.S. Ponce in 2014. During testing, the LaWS successfully hit unmanned, moving targets in the air and on the sea.
Other branches U.S. military are also developing laser weapons. Unlike Star Wars, these lasers aren’t visible to the naked eye and don’t produce the signature “pew-pew” sound when fired. Hopefully we’ll have better aim than Stormtroopers…
One of the most famous scenes in Return of the Jedi is the speeder chase on the forest moon of Endor. High speeds. Floating motorcycles. It’s the type of thing childhood dreams are made of. Happily, these dreams are coming true thanks to Aerofex, who have brought us one step closer to real-life speeders.
Aerofex is currently developing the Aero-X, an aerial all-terrain vehicle. The goal is to make the benefits of flight available to more people. According to the Aerofex website, controlling the Aero-X is similar to driving a motorcycle. No pilot’s license is required.
Everyone remembers the tragic scene where Luke loses his hand in a duel with Darth Vader. Fortunately, his hand is replaced with a robotic hand that responds like a real one. Inventor Dean Kamen is striving to make Luke’s bionic hand a reality.
Kamen is the founder of DEKA Research & Development. DEKA is responsible for creating LUKE™, the most advanced prosthetic arm approved by the FDA. It uses signals sent from muscles to control 10 powered joints.
These, and other, advancements in technology are bringing us closer and closer to world portrayed in the Star Wars films. One day there may even be hundreds of R2-D2s roaming around, ready to save us from all the technology related scrapes we’ve gotten ourselves into. Until then, Bask’s friendly Tech Advisors are standing by. Whether you need help recovering data from rebel spies or setting up your antivirus forcefield, we’re always here to help.