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Fictional technology

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Title: Fictional technology  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Hypothetical technology, Science fiction studies, Chemical engineering, Quantum technology, Technology assessment
Collection: Fictional Technology, Science Fiction Themes
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Fictional technology

Fictional technology is an umbrella term for technological processes and devices that don't exist in reality, proposed or described in many different contexts:

Examples of such fictional technologies are:

Many technologies were fictional for a long time before they became real, such as:

There are also technologies that have been proven to work beyond question, but currently are not practical given the alternatives, i.e. there is a more appropriate technology for that purpose:

  • General purpose robots (only economically feasible with rather drastic energy and material subsidy, or in extremely hazardous applications that, arguably, no one should really be doing at all). However, note that specialized robots are widely used in industrial production.
  • death ray (there are easier methods of execution)
  • jet pack (as yet impractical)
  • antimatter weapon (with current technology, antimatter cannot be produced in sufficient quantities to be used as weapons)

Proposals for further development of these are thus more and more likely to be seen as fictional, misleading or amusing. Robot toys for instance have become popular. One could argue that the atomic bomb, given the consequences of its use, also belongs in this category.


  1. ^ "At Google X, a Top-Secret Lab Dreaming Up the Future". The New York Times. 2011-11-13. 
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