Top 5 technologies we wished we had as kids

John Kline, Editor

As kids, our imagination had few boundaries when it came to playing. Unfortunately, our world did. Anything could be used for something. We turned simple sticks into swords and spears, a shirt or blanket became a cape, and a pillow transformed into a shield or a projectile for fighting with friends. We dreamed of fantastic mechanisms that didn’t yet exist and created the next best thing with nothing more at hand than imagination. Now with the wonders of technology, those dreams are being realized. These are just some of the ways our more advanced world is allowing us to finally enjoy all the wonderful things we wished when we were young.

Number 1: Lightsabers

Many of us can recall the first time we saw Star Wars, the expansive universe of cool, future technology from far far away. The films influenced us so much, we pretended to be Jedi and Sith lords fighting for the balance of The Force with tree branches, brooms or whatever else we could find. Recently, it seems, we’ll finally have the closest thing to a lightsaber yet. Disney recently patented a lightsaber, while concepting a new series of Star Wars themed parks. They’ve proposed using a combination of mist and light to simulate the look of a real lightsaber, as well as a mixture of sensors and vibrations to make it feel real as well. You could realistically slash your foes without casualties with a blade of vapor. This is the kind of lightsaber we’d thought was far, far away, but is now closer than ever.

Number 2: Star Trek Phasers

Those who closely watched the Star Trek series are familiar enough with the lore to know that phasers are undoubtedly awesome. They are the standard weapon of all crew members in the Galactic Federation. Young fans of the show would try to reenact the various adventures with whatever we could find. Hands and squirt guns were once the components of their classic blasters, but now the U.S. Military is testing real lasers with the iconic name. These phasers are currently massive in scale and can destroy aircrafts using focused microwaves. However, there are plans to shrink these current designs down to a size small enough to fit your hand. These phasers would also be able to adjust the amount of micro radiation dispersed, meaning you can set your phaser to kill or stun. This would allow for a portable phaser to be used in combat, and allow us to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Number 3: Microsoft Hololens

Many of us as kids imagined of a world of our own, a land where what we dream comes reality. Microsoft Hololens turns or childhood real, using a deceptively simple pair of goggles. The Hololens integrates constructed holograms in the organic environment around us. You can play with virtual objects such as shapes, animals, and toys that only those wearing a Hololens can see. It lets you manipulate items that only exist through the goggles as sensors track your hands and see what you want to interact with, allowing you to move, touch, and create with virtual objects. It’s a miracle piece of technology that lets our thoughts become existent on a practical scale.

Number 4: Iron Man Exo-Suit
Superheroes are the embodiment of our childhood. We’d pretend to be all sorts of super- powered crusaders such as Spiderman, Hulk, Captain America, Superman and Batman, just to name a few. We dreamed of having super-strength, which often included the ability to lift hundreds of pounds. With the Iron Man exo-suit, anyone can become a super hero. Exo-suits are metal skeletons that attach to your back, arms and legs. They use robotics to let users to perform incredible feats. They permit users to pick up objects many times their weight and even allow the paralyzed to walk. These suits allocate anyone to become a superhero and may grant those who have lost physical abilities to regain mobility. Just remember, with great power, comes great responsibility.

Number 5: Robots
Whenever future technology is discussed one topic is sure to come up – robots, our mechanical pals with a personality. Robots are always a cool subject. The idea of building a machine that can understand emotions could even become a perfect friend. Well, new tech has actualized the first of these ideal buddies. Cozmo, created by the Anki Robotics Company, is one such robot. He utilizes many different emotions to react to his environment, including people. The goal of this robot concept is to make lines of toy characters that each hold personality. Imagine having shelves of SpongeBob toys that act as real as they do on the screen (though that may be a nightmare for some). They can react to human emotion, themselves, and the area around them. They can back away in fear of ledges and become frightened of loud noises. It’s not hard to believe that these robotic friends could control the toy market and eventually be in every home around the world.
Technology is what drives us forward. It improves to meet the world’s demands. At some point, we looked towards the future and doubted the possibility that these marvels of engineering would ever be accomplished. Now that we live in the future, and see the impossible becoming possible, and it awakens the child in all of us, and leaves us all speculating on what other wonders await us.