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Finding Sci-Fi Inspiration from Today’s Science

A friend of mine found this article and passed it along to me.  I encourage you to read the article, and especially to watch the videos (both are different than the one I provide here).  It’s amazing what technology we as a society are able to create.

As a writer, though, I look beyond just the “coolness factor” of seeing robotic penguins flying through the air, or robotic arms that mimic elephant trunks.

For example, in the video above, look at the self-reassembling bricks that move along each other to use the best strategy to accomplish a given goal. These are similar in concept to the Replicators shown in Stargate SG-1, or even the Cylons building special-purpose machines in Battlestar Galactica. You might be able to figure out other ways to use this technology in never-before-seen ways, or realize potential consequences of the technology (or next steps) before anyone else.

Wouldn’t it be cool to capture that in a story?

What effects might walls that respond to people walking by have? Would it change society? Would we grow used to it like televisions playing as we walk by a store?

Or would we create new, interesting forms of artistic expression? Would people add these devices to movable platforms that you could rearrange to create some kind of singing floor? Could this even be a form of entering in a password before entering a home, using the game of hopscotch (or one of the Indiana Jones movies) as inspiration for this type of password?

Today’s technology is already pretty amazing. Sci-fi writers should look around for inspiration in today’s technology as they work on creating tomorrow’s science fiction. What new things can you see coming down the line?


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