ByJames Story, writer at

Science fiction in popular films has given us a wealth of inspiration for real life; some technology has already been developed since its inception on the silver screen. Advancements in medical technology are now becoming more common thanks to inspiration from our favourite films. Below is a list of examples of tech innovations that might save our lives in the future.

Self-driving cars

Minority Report, Total Recall and I Robot have all shown the potential of autonomous cars, allowing for privacy whilst very little physical driving is needed. The unsettling Johnny Cabs from Total Recall showed how self-driving cars may be a thing for the future, but they are now in development.

Though not commercially available yet, driverless cars are currently being developed by the likes of Google and Baidu, and have even been made legal on UK roads. With sensors, radars and 360-degree cameras, these cars will be able to predict their surrounding better than a human which will drastically reduce the risk of an accident. A recent study revealed human being the cause of 90% of all road traffic accidents in the UK.


Long being seen as a pursuit of the super-rich to extend their life, cryogenics is probably most associated with the famous Walt Disney myth. The likes of Mr Freeze from the Batman franchise spent years and years (or reboots and reboots) searching for the cure for his wife Nora. However, we may start seeing the benefits of cryogenics sooner than you think.

Cryonics are expected to become a stable part of hospitals, operating under a similar procedure as Tom Cruise’s character in Vanilla Sky, but on a shorter timescale.

According to researchers, a person’s cells remain alive for a short time even after they have been pronounced dead. Many believe that Walt Disney was the first to use this procedure, but he missed out by a month.

Lance Becker from the Penn Center for Resuscitative Medicine used the case study of freezing a wounded man on a battlefield, transporting him to a hospital, and then treating him with more dependable equipment than those available on the field.


Airborne nanobots (microscopic robots that can fix you on a molecular level) are something that sounds like something straight out of Doctor Who. Whilst a cloud of nanobots being able to fix you in an instant may be a long time away, this type of technology is being developed to take tissues and target specific cells.

Research has recently being conducted and found that robots are being developed in order to perform simple tasks separately and combine more complex ones. These robots will be made up of individual capsules and by improving functionality; doctors may be able to treat illnesses in a far less invasive way than is currently used. If things do improve significantly they may even be able to treat humans before diseases appear in the body. Just think, you’ll be part of the Borg Collective! Oh wait!

Ambulance Drones

Everyone loves Baymax from Big Hero 6. The adorable inflatable robot just wants to help everybody – what isn’t to love! However, inflatable robotic drones may save your life in the future.

Alec Momont, an engineering graduate, has been developing a prototype ‘ambulance drone’ which can help those who are suffering cardiac arrest. Momont hopes that the drone will help save “hundreds of lives in the next five years” and it will help the chances of survival “from 8% to 80%”.

Drones will be able to track emergency phone calls whilst navigating through GPS signals to arrive quickly at an emergency incident. The drone houses a microphone, camera and speaker, meaning that a paramedic unit can see what’s happening on the scene.

The examples above provide a short insight into some of the technologies in film that have influenced real life. Some of these developments look set to impact on our lives in the next 10-20 years. Who know what science fiction concepts we might see in the next fifty years!


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