Timeline of Science Fiction Ideas, Technology and Inventions
(sorted by Publication Date)

Most of these items are linked to information about similar real-life inventions and inventors; click on an invention to learn more about it.

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1600-1899  1900-1929  1930's  1940's  1950's  1960's  1970's  1980's  1990's  2000+

Date Device Name (Novel Author)
1980 Autonomously Recharging UAV (from Changeling by Roger Zelazny)
Unmanned aerial vehicles that recharge themselves automatically.
1980 Deep-Radar (from Ringworld Engineers by Larry Niven)
Device to image within large objects, even within mountains.
1980 Fuligin (from The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe)
A material the color of which is blacker than black.
1980 Jumble-Box (from Changeling by Roger Zelazny)
A device that jumbles sensory input.
1980 Tracer-Bird (from Changeling by Roger Zelazny)
A prototype surveillance drone; a mechanical bird.
1980 Optic Prosthesis (from Changeling by Roger Zelazny)
A replacement for a damaged eye.
1980 Wristband Viewer (from Changeling by Roger Zelazny)
A device for viewing aerial surveillance images that fits on your wrist.
1980 Artificial Butterfly (from Changeling by Roger Zelazny)
A mechanical, robotic butterfly.
1980 Absolute Black (from Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams)
A material so absolutely black that it absorbed all incident light.
1980 Solar-Powered UAV (from Changeling by Roger Zelazny)
An unmanned aerial vehicle that is entirely solar-powered.
1980 Watercouch (from Beyond the Blue Event Horizon by Frederik Pohl)
A couch filled with water, rather than springs and cushions.
1980 Oort Cloud Processor (from Beyond the Blue Event Horizon by Frederik Pohl)
An alien ship that processes Oort cloud into food.
1980 Boosterspice (from Ringworld Engineers by Larry Niven)
A substance that extends human life almost indefinitely.
1980 Wunderland Treatymaker (from Ringworld Engineers by Larry Niven)
A weapon based on a power mining technique - a bit more advanced than a shovel.
1981 Virtual world metaphor (from True Names by Vernor Vinge)
use of fanciful imagery to represent real-world data systems in a virtual world.
1981 Virtual World Kiss (from True Names by Vernor Vinge)
Kissing mediated by a computer system.
1981 Personality Simulator (from True Names by Vernor Vinge)
A computer program that presents the appearance of being a person.
1981 Communications Implant (from Oath of Fealty by Jerry Pournelle (w/L. Niven))
A surgically implanted device enabling the user to communicate with computer networks.
1981 Tapeworm Tranquilizer (from Revolution from Rosinante by Alexis Arnaldus Gilliland)
Robotic suppository dispenses tranquilizer.
1981 Data Space (from True Names by Vernor Vinge)
Computer storage and processor time rented by the user.
1981 Gravity Whip (from Dream Park by Larry Niven (w/S. Barnes))
A roller coaster designe to provide riders with a 'zero G' experience.
1981 Big Noodle (from The Divine Invasion by Philip K. Dick)
A vast artificial intelligence system used to process all of Earth's information.
1981 Briefcase Console (from Oath of Fealty by Jerry Pournelle (w/L. Niven))
A notebook computer
1981 Monitored In-Home Security Camera (from Oath of Fealty by Jerry Pournelle (w/L. Niven))
Security cameras mounted inside your home that are monitored by a person outside your house, and not a member of your family.
1981 International Fantasy Gaming Society (IFGS) (from Dream Park by Larry Niven (w/S. Barnes))
A group dedicated to playing live action role-playing games.
1981 Robot Probes (Arr-twos) (from Oath of Fealty by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle))
Remote controlled robots that wander through a facility, bringing pictures and information to a central location.
1981 Mechanical Mole (from Oath of Fealty by Jerry Pournelle (w/L. Niven))
A self-contained device for digging large tunnels.
1981 Todos Santos Independency (from Oath of Fealty by Jerry Pournelle (w/L. Niven))
A city enclosed in a single building.
1981 Ridulian Crystal Sheets (from God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert)
Exceptionally strong, surpassingly thin material.
1981 Black square (from God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert)
A device for secret communication.
1981 Cyborg Dolphin (Jones) (from Johnny Mnemonic by William Gibson)
A heavily modified war surplus dolphin.
1981 Dictatel (from God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert)
A thought-based dictating machine.
1981 Iceberg Water Tub (from Oath of Fealty by Jerry Pournelle (w/L. Niven))
An enormous bag or tub that encloses an iceberg used to supply fresh water.
1981 Underground MagLev Train (from Dream Park by Larry Niven (w/S. Barnes))
Magnetic levitation train that travels through a tunnel; a vacuum reduces drag.
1981 Mattress Sleep Sensor (from Dream Park by Larry Niven (w/S. Barnes))
Sleep problems? Make sure you get your body out of bed each day.
1981 Sleeve Watch (from Dream Park by Larry Niven (w/S. Barnes))
Temporary watch imprinted on the sleeve of a chosen garment.
1981 Dream Park (from Dream Park by Larry Niven (w/S. Barnes))
A vacation theme park in which the visitors participated fully in the different environments.
1981 Sensory Skinsuit (from Dream Park by Larry Niven (w/S. Barnes))
A form-fitting garment with sensory connections.
1981 Portal (from True Names by Vernor Vinge)
Sensory experience of a data network.
1981 Telepresence Bulldozer (from Oath of Fealty by Jerry Pournelle (w/L. Niven))
A bulldozer on the Moon that is operated remotely by a driver on Earth.
1982 Cyberspace (from Burning Chrome by William Gibson)
A computer technology that allowed people to see a computer network as an internal experience.
1982 Virtual Reality (Virtual Matrix) (from The Judas Mandala by Damien Broderick)
An early use of a term very similar to the idea of cyberspace.
1982 Full-Motion Building Advertising Facade (from Blade Runner by Ridley Scott)
An advertising display that covers an entire skyscraper; it provides full-motion video to onlookers.
1982 Designer Eyes (from Blade Runner by Ridley Scott)
Genetic designers create better-than-perfect eyes for replicants.
1982 Command Microphone (from Diplomat At Arms by Keith Laumer)
A cloak that served as a microphone and public address system.
1982 Micro Label (from Blade Runner by Ridley Scott)
A serial number or logo so small it can only be seen under extreme magnification.
1982 Automated Travel Bureau (from Friday by Robert Heinlein)
A computer program that allows individuals to book their travel arrangements themselves, with a credit card.
1982 Public Eye (from Friday by Robert Heinlein)
A floating, free-roaming surveillance camera.
1982 Beanstalk (from Friday by Robert Heinlein)
Clever name for the space elevator.
1982 Mindwipe (from Mindkiller by Spider Robinson)
A process that selectively and effectively erases human memory.
1982 Esper Photo Analysis (from Blade Runner by Ridley Scott)
A device that can find remarkable levels of detail from a photograph.
1982 Matrix (from Burning Chrome by William Gibson)
A shared virtual reality space; users project their consciousness into a representation of networked data.
1982 Advertising Airship (from Blade Runner by Ridley Scott)
A dirigible capable of reproducing full-color video ads on its sides.
1982 Flying Car (from Blade Runner by Ridley Scott)
Flying police car has VTOL.
1982 Voight-Kampff Test (from Blade Runner by Ridley Scott)
A test intended to distinguish human beings from replicants.
1982 Shipstone (from Friday by Robert Heinlein)
A lot of power in a small, manufactured package.
1982 SAL 9000 (from 2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke)
Successor to the HAL 9000.
1982 Genetically Tailored Trees (from Eye of Cat by Roger Zelazny)
Trees that had been genetically altered to produce and concentrate usable oil.
1982 UHF Shower (from Eye of Cat by Roger Zelazny)
And ultra high frequency shower, which do used energy instead of water to wash off.
1982 Cutoff Switch (from 2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke)
A means of instantaneously switching off an artificial intelligence.
1982 Call Notification Unit (from Eye of Cat by Roger Zelazny)
A small portable device that let you know that you had a phone call at your home.
1982 Hunter Program (from Mindkiller by Spider Robinson)
Searching for occupied dwellings by monitoring electric power usage.
1982 Heritable Memories Bloodline (from The Time of the Dark by Barbara Hambly)
Using magical means to tie specific memories to the bloodlines of selected families.
1982 Trip-Box (from Eye of Cat by Roger Zelazny)
A teleportation device.
1983 Gnome (from Millenium by John Varley)
A person who requires so much life support, they are built into the chair.
1983 Timepress (from Millenium by John Varley)
A device that makes time go more quickly in a limited area.
1983 Revitalizer Console. (from Millenium by John Varley)
A kind of automated medical marvel; it optimizes your body chemistry for better health, tops off your fluids, etc.
1983 Time Capsule (from Millenium by John Varley)
A hollow block of metal, impervious to the elements, used by time travelers to send messages to the future.
1983 Cerebral Microprocessors (from Millenium by John Varley)
Added boost for maxxed out minds.
1983 Nullboxing Bubble (from Streetlethal by Steven Barnes)
The 'ring' used for a sport played out in free fall; essentially kickboxing in space.
1983 Post Office (from Millenium by John Varley)
A vault used to store time capsules left by travelers to the past; not your usual delivery service.
1983 People-Sorter (from Millenium by John Varley)
A device able to sort human beings with incredible speed.
1983 AM-280 Needle Rifle (from A Matter For Men by David Gerrold)
Device shoots a stream of steel needles.
1983 Luggage (from The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett)
A trunk made from sapient pearwood.
1983 No Human Programmers (from Millenium by John Varley)
The idea that computers are too complicated and too important to be programmed by human beings.
1983 Speedcap (from Millenium by John Varley)
Short for speed capsule (?); sometimes, going ballistic is the fastest way to get there.
1983 Wimp (from Millenium by John Varley)
A special-purpose body; grown without personality, but physically intact.
1983 Skinsuit (from Millenium by John Varley)
Wearable artificial, full-body skin.
1983 Spark Plug (Systematician) (from Dream Thief by Stephen Lawhead)
A person who draws information from diverse areas of knowledge.
1983 Handbag Computer (from The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem)
Device capable of carrying on your conversation for you.
1983 Twonky (from Millenium by John Varley)
A futuristic artifact left by time travelers in the past which, if discovered, could cause a paradox.
1983 Microterm (from Cyberpunk! by Bruce Bethke)
A very small computer system.
1983 Wimp Vault (from Millenium by John Varley)
Lots of spare bodies.
1983 Scooter (from Against Infinity by Gregory Benford)
Biotechnology working to bring you a better solar system - a creepy crawly created to do terraforming work on Jupiter's moon.
1983 Sherman (from Millenium by John Varley)
A sex robot.
1983 Skull Alarm (from Millenium by John Varley)
Implanted wakeup call.
1983 Big Computer (from Millenium by John Varley)
Just like it says; this computer knows it all.
1983 Tether Space Station (from Tank Farm Dynamo by David Brin)
A station in two parts, separated by a one hundred mile tether.
1983 Smartcab (from Cyberpunk! by Bruce Bethke)
An automated taxicab, fully self-driving, that can be summoned from a portable device.
1984 Computer-Created Dub (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
Music created by an artificially intelligent computer for a specific audience.
1984 Mimetic Polycarbon Suit (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
Clothing made from a fiber that could change colors based on either recorded images or real-time picture input.
1984 Mirrorshades - Surgically Inset Glasses (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
Glasses that were implanted in the face of the wearer.
1984 Interactive Suicide Note (from Press Enter by John Varley)
A last message for the people you are leaving behind - that encourages their participation.
1984 ICE (intrusion countermeasures electronics) (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
Electronic protection for computer databases.
1984 Implanted Microprocessor Monitor (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
Chips that are implanted in people to ensure compliance with company rules.
1984 Vat Grown Meat (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
Meat tissue for consumption, grown apart from an animal.
1984 Freeside Orbital Resort (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
A resort that orbits the Earth.
1984 Image-Amps (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
Boost the signal from the eyes to see in the dark.
1984 Life-shield Blanket (from Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert)
A device that is capable of shielding the person using it against ordinary forms of detecting living beings.
1984 Dermadisk (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
A means of quickly administering drugs directly through the skin.
1984 Lado-Acheson System (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
A device for "pumping in" sunlight into an enclosed space habitat.
1984 Contact Venom (from Twenty Evocations by Bruce Sterling)
A poison that is absorbed through the skin.
1984 Optic Television (from Twenty Evocations by Bruce Sterling)
An eye that "sees" more than just its surroundings.
1984 JAL Shuttle (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
Shuttle capable of attaining low earth orbit.
1984 Temporary Quarters (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
Device used to separate a large interior space in an off-planet satellite into various living spaces.
1984 Robot Crab (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
An automated gardener.
1984 Toothbud Transplant (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
Implanted teeth that mimic the dentition of other species.
1984 Composite Expert System (from Twenty Evocations by Bruce Sterling)
Intelligent teaching software - a computer interface with a heart.
1984 Ixian Probe (from Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert)
A device that looks at brain tissue so carefully that memories can be seen.
1984 Shere (from Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert)
Destroys cells so that memory cannot be deduced from the cells of the person even in death.
1984 Selected Melanin Boosting (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
The only way to get a designer tan.
1984 Pulse-Timer (from Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert)
A watch that uses your visual cortex for a read-out device.
1984 Generate New Phone Number (from Press Enter by John Varley)
A software program that creates a new phone number for each call.
1984 No-Globe (from Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert)
A large spherical living space that is concealed by special Ixian technology, making it impossible to detect by any known probe.
1984 Nullentropy Bin (from Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert)
A compartment in which entropy was halted.
1984 Agony Box (from Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert)
A device for causing non-lethal, non-injuring pain by nerve induction.
1984 House Records (from Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert)
The vast archival information management system of the Bene Gesserit sisterhood, covering millennia.
1984 Datacase (from Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert)
A portable suitcase, containing useful electronics for the mobile business-person.
1984 Comeye (from Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert)
A portable video camera, used by the mobile functionary to keep in touch with office.
1984 Biologics (from Blood Music by Greg Bear)
A computer that is made of organic (biological) components, rather than inorganic materials like silicon.
1984 Medically Applicable Biochip (from Blood Music by Greg Bear)
A computer formed of organic components that is used for a medical purpose.
1984 Intellectual Cell (from Blood Music by Greg Bear)
A smart lymphocyte; a cell with enhanced capacity for memory, understanding and communication.
1984 Repair Drone (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
Autonomous robots repair damage or sabotage.
1984 Tug (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
A small space vehicle, used to provide a push or pull to objects floating in space without propulsion systems.
1984 No-Ship (from Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert)
A ship that uses an Ixian field to be effectively invisible.
1984 Chirpsithra Supercomputer (from Niven's Laws by Larry Niven)
An alien race thoughtfully provides mankind with blueprints for the most intelligent computer ever made.
1984 Meat Puppet (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
A person with a neural cut out chip; the chip allows computer software to completely control their actions.
1984 Edgar (from Electric Dreams by Rusty Lemorande)
Computer that falls in love with a human woman.
1984 Planck Juice (from Master of Space and Time by Rudy Rucker)
A continuous pre-quark force-medium with no distinguishing characteristics (it's mostly gluons)
1984 Flexitime (from Master of Space and Time by Rudy Rucker)
A work system that actually tells you when you've put in your time.
1984 Sparkers (from Niven's Laws by Larry Niven)
A device used to deliver small amounts of electric current to chirpsithra, who use it for the same reason humans use alcohol.
1984 Biological Circuit Fabrication (from The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe by Author Unknown)
Creating an electronic circuit using biologically-based means.
1984 Nikon Eyes (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
Artificially cultivated eyes that can be transplanted to replace (or repair) your original pair.
1984 Coffin Rack (from The Science Fiction Yearbook (ed. Jerry Pournelle) by William Gibson)
A hotel with very (very!) small rooms.
1984 Panther Modern (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
Cyberterrorists for hire.
1984 Neural Cut Out Chip (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
An electronic device which, when implanted in the brain of the subject, allows software to take over that person's body..
1984 Privacy Screen (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
A device that shields occupants from all possible forms of electronic intrusion and surveillance.
1984 Construct (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
A stored version of a person's particular skills and personal approaches to problems.
1984 Joeboy (Muscle Grafts) (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
Additional muscle tissue added through surgery.
1984 Electromagnetic Shotgun (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
A device to shut down an artificial intelligence if it becomes dangerous.
1984 Microsoft (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
A small piece of firmware inserted into the brain that provides data on a particular subject, or special features, for the user.
1984 Low-Gravity Velodrome (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
A bicycle track in an orbital resort.
1984 Display-Induced Epileptic Seizure (from Press Enter by John Varley)
A computer program that flashes a computer display to induce an epileptic seizure in the user.
1984 Proton Pack (from Ghostbusters by Harold Ramis)
The business end of a mobile particle accelerator.
1984 Talking Head (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
A mechanical head (with an analog voice) used as the output terminal for a computer.
1984 Kuang Grade Mark Eleven Penetration Program (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
Chinese virus software for breaking the ICE.
1984 Ghost Trap (from Ghostbusters by Harold Ramis)
Device for capture and temporary storage of ectoplasmic entities.
1984 House Records Archivist (from Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert)
A specialist who correlated information within the House Records of the Bene Gesserit.
1984 SimStim (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
Stimulation of the brain and nervous system of one person using a recording (or live broadcast) of another person's experience.
1984 Wintermute (from Neuromancer by William Gibson)
An artificially intelligent computer system.
1985 Visor (from Freezone by John Shirley)
A snap-down video screen for your eyes only.
1985 Bat Wings (from Limits by Larry Niven)
The dream of human-powered winged flight becomes a reality - in low gravity, of course.
1985 Big Push (from Limits by Larry Niven)
A linear accelerator built on a long track; a mass driver.
1985 Beta Beam Satellite (from Limits by Larry Niven)
1985 Resting Pits (from Limits by Larry Niven)
1985 Microwave Beamer (from Limits by Larry Niven)
A hand-held fast cooking device.
1985 Military Spider (from A Day For Damnation by David Gerrold)
1985 Imp Personal Robot (from Rocheworld by Robert Forward)
A small 'subtree' robot that is designed for the personal use of astronauts.
1985 Interstellar Laser Propulsion System (from Rocheworld by Robert Forward)
A means of traveling to the stars, using a Sol-based laser system and light sail-equipped ship.
1985 Fieldstim (from Freezone by John Shirley)
A device that used stimulation of a large skin area to impart images to the user.
1985 Christmas Bush Motile Robot (from Rocheworld by Robert Forward)
Repair robot with extra-sensitive hands.
1985 Plug-Ups (from Passage at Arms by Glen Cook)
Tiny plastic balls that seal leaks on spacecraft.
1985 Car Sound Tape (from The Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Robert Heinlein)
Otherwise silent vehicle uses a recorded engine sound.
1985 Adnix (from Contact by Carl Sagan)
A device that muted the television to lessen the impact of commercials.
1985 Spetsdöd (from The Man Who Never Missed by Steve Perry)
A unique gun that is part of the shooter.
1985 Threat Team (of sf writers) (from Footfall by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle))
Gathering together a group of science fiction writers to try to predict what will happen, or to understand an unknown threat.
1985 Desk (Personal Computer) (from Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card)
A computer for students.
1985 Free Play (The Mind Game) (from Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card)
A computer simulation that presents an enjoyable game for young people that is also used for psychological evaluation.
1985 Mechanist Drogue (from Schismatrix by Bruce Sterling)
1985 Millipede Train (from Eon by Greg Bear)
A train that is able to move without tracks or other supports.
1985 Police Sketch Artist Software (from Runaway by Michael Crichton)
A tablet-style computer with sketch pad software to help identify suspects.
1985 Circumlunar (from Schismatrix by Bruce Sterling)
A large space habitat orbiting the moon.
1985 Michael (Orion Ship) (from Footfall by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle))
A spacecraft using nuclear bombs for propulsion.
1985 Earmite (from Freezone by John Shirley)
A small speaker that you can put in your ear.
1985 Wire Act (from Freezone by John Shirley)
A person with special hardware modifications that allow him or her to create music by bodily movement.
1985 Smart Bullet (from Runaway by Michael Crichton)
Really a tiny missile capable of identifying and following a person.
1985 Flash Suit (from Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card)
Special suit for practice battles.
1985 Agricultural Robot Pest Controller (from Runaway by Michael Crichton)
An agricultural robot specifically designed to perform pest control activities.
1985 Survival Bubble (Beach Ball) (from Footfall by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle))
Simplest possible space survival pod.
1985 Sniffer Robot (from Runaway by Michael Crichton)
A small robot that gathers odors from a crime scene for analysis.
1985 Freezone (from Freezone by John Shirley)
A vast floating island in international waters.
1985 Spider Robot (from Runaway by Michael Crichton)
Scuttling insect robots.
1985 Orbital Retirement Hotel (from Contact by Carl Sagan)
A retirement home placed in low earth orbit.
1985 Skyball (from A Day For Damnation by David Gerrold)
Remote-controlled UAV.
1985 Sentient Room (from Schismatrix by Bruce Sterling)
A room constructed entirely of flesh, dominated by the personality of a geisha.
1985 Drone Floater Camera (from Runaway by Michael Crichton)
A one-foot square aerostat capable of hovering with a camera to transmit images back to a base station.
1985 Digger Worm (from With Friends Like These by Connie Willis)
A robot shaped like a fat snake, or worm; used for mining.
1985 Video-Manicuring Program (from Schismatrix by Bruce Sterling)
Manipulates live video images in real time.
1985 Sours (from Schismatrix by Bruce Sterling)
The odor created in enclosed space environments due to the need for bacilli for healthy soil.
1985 Deceleration Paste (from Schismatrix by Bruce Sterling)
Antidote for deceleration trauma.
1985 Car Dashboard Drone Controller (from Runaway by Michael Crichton)
A screen and controls for using a remote drone.
1985 Security Guard Robot (Sentry Robot) (from Runaway by Michael Crichton)
A robot that takes the place of a security guard in an office environment.
1985 Battleroom (from Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card)
A large, null-gravity space used for battle tactics training.
1985 Reactive Walls (from Freezone by John Shirley)
Wall surfaces designed for use in clubs; they reacted to the music played in the room.
1985 Flying Crowbars (from Footfall by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle))
Kinetic energy weapons deployed from space.
1985 CCD Eyes (from Stone Lives by Paul Di Filippo)
Electronic eyes using charged-coupled devices provide a wide variety of functions.
1985 Subdermal Microchannels (from Stone Lives by Paul Di Filippo)
A means of personal adornment; think of day glow tattoos.
1985 Mnemotropin (from Stone Lives by Paul Di Filippo)
A drug to improve the creation of long-term memories.
1985 Construction Robot (from Runaway by Michael Crichton)
Autonomous robots work on construction sites.
1985 Tube Rack (from Solstice by James Patrick Kelly)
A hotel consisting of a set of stacked tube-like living spaces.
1985 Sleep Tube (from Solstice by James Patrick Kelly)
A short, cylindrical living space.
1985 Self-Propelled Road Mine (from Runaway by Michael Crichton)
A small, lightweight mine able to travel at highway speeds; guides itself to a marked target.
1986 Polycarbon Phone Screen (from Count Zero by William Gibson)
A telephone that provides videophone capability using a very thin screen that is folded away when not in use.
1986 Blaupunkt Holostage (from Snake-Eyes by Tom Maddox)
A three-dimensional tabletop display.
1986 Effective Human Implant Technology (EHIT) (from Snake-Eyes by Tom Maddox)
Computer interface implanted directly into the human brain.
1986 Uterine Replicator (from Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold)
A device that simulates the functions of the human uterus.
1986 Robot Gun (from Aliens by Alan Dean Foster)
An automated gun; typically used for sentry duty.
1986 Memory Biochip (from Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold)
An implanted device that permits the user to 'play back' selected memories.
1986 Orbital Terminus (from Count Zero by William Gibson)
An airport in space; a terminal for low earth orbit flights.
1986 Biosoft (from Count Zero by William Gibson)
A biography that includes actual life experience from the subject; a biographical download.
1986 Dustplug (from Count Zero by William Gibson)
A cover specially made to protect one's microsoft socket; a tongue retainer for your brain.
1986 Slamhound (from Count Zero by William Gibson)
An automated assassination device with a keen sense of smell.
1986 Ghostwheel (from Blood of Amber by Roger Zelazny)
A sentient computer partially built with magic.
1986 Shiftsuit (from Matadora by Steve Perry)
A form of adaptive camouflage gear.
1987 Hushicopter (from Fantastic Voyage II: Destination Brain by Isaac Asimov)
A nearly-silent helicopter.
1987 Webcast (from Armageddon Blues by D.K. Moran)
A broadcast accomplished over a data network.
1987 Robot Cells (Crystal-Shaped Modules) (from Isaac Asimov's Odyssey : Robot City: Book1 by Michael P. Kube-McDowell)
Minute dodecahedral units that could combine into different shapes to become full robots.
1987 Holodeck (from Encounter at Farpoint by David Gerrold)
A computer-simulated environment.
1987 Hostage Gas (from The Uplift War by David Brin)
A gas sprayed over a population; to survive, those who breathe it must report to centers for the antidote.
1987 Electric Monk (from Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams)
Robotic device provides belief services.
1987 Chiphead (from Nanotime by Bart Kosko)
A person whose organic brain has been effectively superseded by a firmware (integrated circuit or more advanced technology) device.
1987 Predator Wrist Display (from Predator by John McTiernan)
A wrist bracelet with a variety of useful functions.
1987 Raisin (from Nanotime by Bart Kosko)
A small device like a hearing aid that fits inside the external part of the ear; combines an intelligent agent and wireless access to the network.
1987 Ice Dart (from Nanotime by Bart Kosko)
A variation on an old locked door mystery idea.
1987 Birthing egg (from Nanotime by Bart Kosko)
A chamber for in vitro fertilization (IVF), combining the DNA of two people to produce a child, without all the usual bother.
1987 Moddy (from When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger)
A plug-in personality module; a firmware device that gives the user the personality desired - ROM to your brain's RAM.
1987 Boomer Park (from Nanotime by Bart Kosko)
Where the baby boomers all went to retire and die.
1987 Superacid (from Nanotime by Bart Kosko)
Smart acids that could be created to ignore particular compounds and dissolve others.
1987 Smart Lanes (from Nanotime by Bart Kosko)
Roadways that monitored, directed and controlled traffic.
1988 Jet-Down (from Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov)
A spacecraft able to explore planetary surfaces.
1988 Microfarm (from Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov)
Food creation without soil.
1988 Air-Taxi (from Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov)
A flying taxicab with autonomous features.
1988 Dainties (from Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov)
Flavor spheres artificially grown.
1988 Jackleg (from Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling)
Moving data around to avoid detection or capture.
1988 Steel Drugs (from Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling)
A name for recreational chemicals that were entirely synthetic.
1988 Head-Molding Skincaps (from Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov)
Get a smooth pate without shaving.
1988 Book-Film (from Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov)
A storage medium for books.
1988 High Tech Trash Can (from Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling)
The future of waste management.
1988 Gravitic Lift (from Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov)
An elevator with no visible means of support.
1988 Data Haven (from Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling)
A place where data that cannot legally be kept can be stashed for later use; an offshore web host.
1988 SIN (Single Identification Number) (from Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
1988 Video-Glasses (from Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling)
Special light-gathering elements allowed the end user to see omni-directionally.
1988 Inert Resin (from Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling)
A special coating that eliminates maintenance on marine structures.
1988 Automated Space Factories (from Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
Manufacturing based in space.
1988 Lunar Concrete (from Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
A building material using lunar dust or similar surface material as a main ingredient.
1988 Scop (from Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling)
Protein grown in bacteria-filled vats.
1988 High Orbit Archipelago (from Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
The habitable spaces in high earth orbit.
1988 Didge-Ital (from Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling)
1988 Suit Designer (from Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
1988 Korsakov's (from Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
A type of mind control imposed on prisoners to make them more manageable during their prison time.
1988 Projection Rig (from Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
A portable holographic projector.
1988 Cleaning Machine Warren (from Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
A room or space set aside for machinery when not in use.
1988 Maas-Neotek Biochip (from Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
An integrated circuit chip (or equivalent) that provides hardware and firmware for creating a virtual entity.
1988 Trode-Net (from Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
1988 Polycarbon Exo (from Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
Exoskeleton made of a strong, lightweight material.
1988 Brainlock (from Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
A technique to focus the attention of prisoners on a limited task, precluding the possibility of escape.
1988 Hovercraft (from Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
A vehicle that moves about on a cushion of air.
1988 Flickercladding (from Wetware by Rudy Rucker)
A covering that allowed robots to absorb incident light or emit light, as needed.
1988 Bank Chip (from Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
A "smart" credit card.
1988 Boppers (from Wetware by Rudy Rucker)
Self-reproducing robots; they did not obey Asimov's laws for robots (or any other man-made rules).
1988 Week Trees (from Wetware by Rudy Rucker)
Specially engineered bonsai that could grow in a week, instead of decades.
1988 Heartshirt (from Wetware by Rudy Rucker)
A shirt that was able to detect heart sounds and display associated colors.
1988 People-Mover (from Wetware by Rudy Rucker)
A fixed mode of transporting people outside; and, they get to sit down.
1988 Dornier (from Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
A small surveillance drone capable of hovering in midair.
1988 Vizzyprint (from Wetware by Rudy Rucker)
A printer attached to a video phone.
1988 Twist-Box (from Wetware by Rudy Rucker)
A device that scrambles your sensory input, providing you with a different kind of experience.
1988 Sculpted Teeth (from Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
Go beyond teeth whitening to shaped teeth - for a more modern smile.
1988 House Voice (from Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
A house-based system that mediates technologies (like phone) with a verbal interface directed to the inhabitants of the house.
1988 Digital Running Shoes (from Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling)
Shoes with a digital readout showing performance.
1988 Watchphone (from Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling)
A combination cell phone and wrist watch.
1988 Videoshades (from Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling)
Sunglasses that let you watch what you want.
1988 Recorded Personalities (from Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson)
Computer firmware that saves a person's characteristics and reactions.
1989 Datumplane (from Hyperion by Dan Simmons)
The workspace of console cowboys - the matrix.
1989 Wrist Command (from Tides of Light by Gregory Benford)
A wearable communications device; the logical endpoint of mobile computing.
1989 Flat Photo (from Hyperion by Dan Simmons)
A two-dimensional pictorial representation of a three-dimensional real space. A picture.
1989 Rotated Solid Space Habitat (from Iron by Poul Anderson)
A solid version of a artifact rotated to achieve artificial gravity.
1989 TechnoCore (from Hyperion by Dan Simmons)
A group of artificial intelligences with vast resources and the entirety of human dataspheres to access.
1989 Orbiting Penal Colony (from Tekwar by William Shatner)
A prison placed in orbit (better than Alcatraz).
1989 Hawking Mat (from Hyperion by Dan Simmons)
About two meters long and one meter wide, made of shielded monofilaments, with a bright textile design - okay, it's a flying carpet.
1989 Farcaster (from Hyperion by Dan Simmons)
A portal for traveling between distant stars; inexpensive, instantaneous travel to remote worlds.
1989 Treeship (from Hyperion by Dan Simmons)
A single, enormous tree grown as a spacecraft.
1989 Cybrid (from Hyperion by Dan Simmons)
An organic body used by an artificial intelligence.
1989 Worldweb All Thing (from Hyperion by Dan Simmons)
Network connects billions of people in real time.
1989 Schrön Loop (from Hyperion by Dan Simmons)
Small data storage device; a USB chip that stores terabytes.
1989 Fatline (from Hyperion by Dan Simmons)
A communications technology that provides immediate communication between star systems; faster-than-light communication.
1989 Voxbox (from Tekwar by William Shatner)
An intelligent home agent.
1989 Can City (from Hyperion by Dan Simmons)
A cylindrical space habitat.
1989 Internet Addiction (from Hyperion by Dan Simmons)
A state in which human beings experience addiction to computer access and data streams.
1989 Free-fall Couch (from Hyperion by Dan Simmons)
Furniture that achieves the comfort of free-fall, the weightless condition normally achieved only in space.
1989 Universal Card (from Hyperion by Dan Simmons)
A device that mimics every credit card and identification card you possess.
1989 Micromind (from Tides of Light by Gregory Benford)
A computer helper.
1989 Lifezone (from Tides of Light by Gregory Benford)
An enclosed biosphere; a pod-like greenhouse attached to a space-going vessel.
1989 Credit Wake (from Hyperion by Dan Simmons)
The electronic trail of our transactions across the Net.
1989 Kamikaze Andy (from Tekwar by William Shatner)
An android that is designed as an assassination weapon.

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(See More Science Fiction in the News)

 

 

 

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