|Microsoft has patented a Holodeck like the one in Star Trek.Image source: bbc.co.uk|
A lot of things described in science fiction books and short stories have already come true. Here is a partial list. What is amazing is now early some of these things were predicted, and how many of them have come true in the last few years. Even more amazing, many of them are used by the average person, not just by scientists.
Atomic bombs: In H.G. Wells' book, The World Set Free," atomic bombs were described. This book came out 30 years before the first atomic bomb test.
The Internet: Mark Twain isn't known for science fiction, but his story, "From the 'London Times' of 1904," described the internet as we know it today. The story was published in 1898.
Astronauts traveling in space: In his story, "From the Earth to the Moon," Jules Verne described a mission to the moon that was launched from a base in Florida. There were three men in the crew, who were seated in a large capsule made of aluminum. After the mission, the capsule landed in the Pcific Ocean, and was picked up by a U.S. Navy ship.
Radar and video chat: Hugo Gernsback's 1911 novel, Ralph 124C 41+, predicted the use of radar. It also described a Telephot, which was essentially video chat using a wall-mounted screen.
Online newspapers: Arthur C. Clarke featured online newspapers in his novel "2001: A Space Odyssey".
Armored tanks: In 1903 H.G. Wells published a short story called "The Land Ironclads."
Video games: Two years before the first video game was invented (1958) Arthur C. Clarke wrote about virtual reality games in his novel The City and the Stars. In fact the whole city of Dispar in the story was run by computer.
Credit cards: In 1888, Edward Bellamy wrote about the use of credit cards in his novel Looking Backwards. He described credit card transactions pretty accurately, too, including the duplicate receipts for the vendor and customer.
Scuba diving gear: In 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Jules Verne described diving apparatus that resembles modern scuba diving gear. When he wrote it, actual diving apparatus was large and cumbersome, and the diver had to be connected to the ship by an air hose.
Rocket ships and nore: In his 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, Jules Verne wrote about rockets, lunar modules, solar sails, and humans on the moon. This was 100 years before the first actual moon landing.
Communications satellites: In Wireless World Arthur C. Clarke wrote about communications satellites at least a decade before they were actually developed.