And as we know it has been done before. Jules Verne wrote in the year 1889 about a phonotelephone, a telephonic device that is a videophone. (Reference In the Year 2889 by Jules Verne) These days we have video calls on our phones and PCs.
Writer H.G Wells in his book ‘When the Sleeper awakes’ (1910) wrote about automatic doors 50 years before their invention., Jules Verne ‘predicted’ space travel in his 1865 novel, From The Earth to The Moon’, as well as submarines in his 1870 novel 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, needless to say this list is endless. Google ‘Science Fiction turned reality’ and you will see hundreds of proof of technology that existed in Science Fiction as far as 100 years before they happened.
Japanese Science Fiction manga and anime also inspired scientists to bring some of the technologies to life and we have already discussed robots and Gundam coming to ‘live’ in a few articles (‘What if Gundam is real?’ and Soul of The Robot).
Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell, a popular manga and anime, inspired a group of Japanese scientist to form a project to help recreate some of the awesome technology that we have seen in the movie and series such as cyborgs, thermoptic camouflage and electrical brains.
On November 12th at Roppongi Garden Gallery scientists specializing in these technologies held a panel to discuss how close they are to these type of technologies.
An example is Masahiko Inami, a media design professor at Keio University who has been conducting research on optic camouflage. (Optic Camouflage was the technology used in Ghost in the Shell that made it possible for a person to blend in with their backgrounds. Inami’s invention already allows images to be reflected onto clothes, making the wearer blend in with their background and also to use in cars making it very possible for the drivers to see behind them.
Another example is Shuuji Kajita, an intelligent systems researcher as well as head of the Humanoid Research Group at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. Kajita’s research includes humanoid robots and he compared robots from 2003 with a robot from 2009, which is more realistic and more mobile, while admitting that it is still far from Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell.
These are but two examples of the things discussed at the panel but enough proof that yet again science fiction is but a prophecy of technology to come. Think this is far-fetched?
Look at the cell phone in your hand and think of Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek and his Tri-corder. Phone someone with video capabilities on your phone and think of Jules Verne’s phonotelephone…. Science Fiction and anime shows us that it is not just fiction, but endless possibilities.
We are not all experts of the Japanese language but here is a video about that panel and if you want to watch it, proof of Inami’s optic Camouflage can be watched at 4:42 and Kajita’s robots are shown at 9:20. Even without knowing Japanese the proof is undeniable. Here is the link, be ready to be mind-blown: http://goo.gl/R2qWKp