Futuristic Inventions You Won't Believe Actually Exist!

Believe it or not, these products are here today.

Tiny computers, smartphones, instant messaging and video conferencing were all fanciful science fiction inventions up until about twenty years ago. Now they are so ubiquitous, we hardly give them a second thought.

But what about all of those cool inventions that movies, TV and science fiction promised us like flying cars, robot fighters, and bionic body parts? Believe or not, some are actually real, and poised to shape markets of tomorrow. 

Here are 9 science-fiction like technologies and inventions and the companies working to bring them to life. 

1
Hoverboards

The Hendo Hoverboard
The Hendo Hoverboard. Photo: Hendo

Hoverboards were a key component of the film Back to the Future, and they are one of the first things most people think about when they wonder about all of the futuristic ideas we were promised. 

Lucky for us, the hoverboard is about to be real, and for just $10,000, it can be yours, through this Kickstarter from Hendo Hoverboards

Hendo was founded by Greg Henderson, who patented a technology called Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA™) to make hoverboards a reality. But unlike Marty McFly's version, these boards are for more than just tooling around town. They may one day be employed to help prop up precarious buildings in disaster zones. Check out this video of a Verge writer actually testing one out! The future is definitely here! 

Related: Intro to Crowdfunding

2
Flying Cars

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Photo: Terrafugia

The automobile industry has remained largely static since the days of the model T. Sure, new features are added all the time, but the basic idea of wheels on the ground has remained the same with little disruption to the basic model. 

That may all change with flying car company Terrafugia. They have produced the Transition®, a two-place, fixed wing, street legal airplane. Imagine flying into your next meeting, and parking your flying car in the garage later! 

3
Tiny and Powerful Products

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Coneyl Jay/Stone/Getty Images

Nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale, and the field has plenty of possibilities in a number of areas, including medicine and energy production. At GE, scientists have worked to create polymer-based nanoparticles that can target and kill MRSA.

4
Food pills

Soylent
Would you eat this instead of a delicious hamburger?. Photo: Soylent

Soylent is a company with a simple proposition: "What if you never had to worry about food again?" While Soylent is a nutrition shake and not a pill, it still promises complete nutrition in powdered form. Founder Robert Rhinehart developed Soylent after realizing how much time he could save if he didn't have to prepare food.

But will Soylent catch on with a public hungry for delectable treats? Time will tell. 

5
Air Touch Technology

Air touch technology from ITRI
Air touch technology from ITRI. Photo: Industrial Technology Research Institute

One of the coolest sci-fi technologies in the film Minority Report were the air-touch screens, liberating computing from the desk and even the hand-held device. Thanks to the Taiwanese company Industrial Technology Research Institute, the possibility of computing with an air-touch screen is becoming closer than ever. 

6
Military Exoskeleton

Lockheed Martin's exosuit
Lockheed Martin's exosuit. Photo: Lockheed Martin

An Iron Man-like "smart suit" that confers upon its wearer extra protection and super human strength? Lockheed Martin is working on just that in the HULC exoskeleton, "a completely un-tethered, hydraulic-powered anthropomorphic exoskeleton that provides users with the ability to carry loads of up to 200 pounds for extended periods of time and over all terrains. Its flexible design allows for deep squats, crawls, and upper-body lifting." The HULC is being developed for use in military conflicts. 

7
3D Printers

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Miguel Navarro/Stone/Getty Images

Remember the replicator from Star Trek? The explosion of 3D printing over the past few years has produced innovations just as dazzling, from rapid prototyping to medical applications. Right at the forefront of this trend are companies like Makerbot, which put powerful 3D printing power right in the hands of consumers. 

8
Cloning

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Double trouble?. Martin Barraud/Caiaimage/Getty Images

We all know about Dolly the sheep, the first successful mammalian clone. But did you know there's a South Korean company that for a hefty fee (around $100,000 to be exact) will clone your beloved dog? It's true -- Sooam Biotech will supply you with an exact genetic replica of your beloved pooch, treats, training and TLC not included.

9
Bionic Eye

Bionic Eye
Bernhard Lang/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Helping the blind to see via technology -- surely one of the most laudable goals that an entrepreneur can dream up. And thankfully, it's now possible via the Argus® II Retinal Prosthesis System ("Argus II"). This "bionic eye" from the company Second Sight provides electrical stimulation of the retina to induce visual perception in blind individuals. Pretty cool! 

The Future is Now

With the rapid acceleration of new technologies and increasingly clever utilizations of that tech, we know the future has plenty more surprises in store.