Cyberpunk Inventions in Fiction: The Future is Now

I’ve always enjoyed writing Science Fiction, but as we move through time, a problem that’s haunted writers for decades is becoming even more problematic: the future is already here. As soon as we come up with something amazing and outlandish, poof, it’s real. This isn’t necessarily an issue, but you can end up looking rather foolish if you’re writing about “tomorrow’s” technology when it actually already exists.

I’m hardcore into the Cyberpunk genre, and I think it’s clear to most modern Cyberpunk fans that this is not really a futuristic genre anymore: we already live in a Cyberpunk world, in so many ways. That being said, real life can still provide a rich world of inspiration for how burgeoning technology could create complex dilemmas for humanity. Plus, it’s just plain cool that so much of this amazing technology actually exists. 

Because I work in academia, I’m always swimming in research articles. I also read a lot of technology news, and there are so many unbelievable inventions coming out that it’s surprisingly easy to forget about some of them. With that in mind, I started jotting down blurbs of existing or upcoming technologies that might be fun to include in future stories.

The following list just consists of the things that I’ve been scribbling out for my own notes, but they’re all “ripped from the headlines,” as it were. As a heads up, some of these points haven’t totally come to fruition or are also about social change as related to a Cyberpunk or dystopian future. Since my notes are ongoing, I expect to update this list from time to time. Without further adieu:

Neural Mesh, flexible

USB dongles that can make a computer totally crash 

Password hacking using multiple processors all wired together

Complex cybernetic limbs

Computers controlled by your brain

Ultra-lightweight metal that’s 99% air

Supersonic air travel

Anti-aging gene therapy

Experimenting on yourself as patient zero

Hackers hacking into all the things, like cars and printers

Robotic/android pets

Virtual Reality affecting your real-life eating experiences

Smelling cancer

Hackable body parts (like pacemakers)

Widespread unemployment

Guided missiles fired from rifles

Intelligence amplification

Solar power used to decontaminate water

Cryogenically frozen children

Robots taking over white collar jobs

People living in tunnels stealing power, TV, and internet

Self-repairing cities: drones are made to fix things

Artificial skin that can communicate with brain cells

Dreams that can be turned off and on with a switch

Computer chips inspired by human brains

Cops getting access to commercial/private DNA databases

Lacing restaurant soup/food with opiates

Electrodes that can stimulate lucid dreaming, memory, or increased focus.

Using genetically modified blood proteins to cleanse and extract sepsis and other toxins that are resistant to antibiotics

Long-lasting (up to a year) antimicrobial surface coatings

Underground parks filled with plants nurtured by reflected or stored solar energy

3D printed food

Food printed to match vitamin/calorie needs as recommended by biosensors

AI designed food recipes

AI driven vertical food farming

Lab-grown meat

~Drop me a line on Twitter and let me know what other real inventions you’d like to see used in a Cyberpunk or Science Fiction story.~

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