Each day it seems we get closer to the technological wonders found on the Discovery One, the U.S.S. Enterprise (the starship, not the aircraft carrier), and the Millennium Falcon. But don’t be deceived. We may be well into the long dreamed of future of the 21st century, and a talking computer may have just beaten two humans on Jeopardy!, but when will we have a transporter, faster-than-light warp travel, and the phaser? Most likely, not anytime soon.
Even without these improbable sci-fi gadgets, the past year has seen furious futuristic developments, from tablets and 4G networks to glasses-free 3D and gesture-based gaming.
But that’s not enough for us. We want more technologies once considered fantasies. That’s why we’ve identified five innovations that can’t get here soon enough.