How has sci-fi transformed our 21st century homes?

Everybody knows that science-fiction books, movies and games can give us incredible visions of the future.

Everybody knows that science-fiction books, movies and games can give us incredible visions of the future. And what’s remarkable is the way that some sci-fi visionaries have even accurately predicted how our homes would look in 2018!

So whilst we are waiting for Back to the Future II’s hoverboards to truly hit the mainstream, here’s a look at how sci-fi has transformed everything from our television screens to our Ottoman bed-frames.

The arrival of so-called smart assistants like the Amazon Echo in our homes is perhaps one of the most exciting tech trends of recent times.

But whilst we can use them to play a Spotify playlist or even tell us the weather forecast, we should also be hopeful that our Siri, Alexa, or Cortana assistants don’t turn slightly sinister like in HAL in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001.

As our smart home appliances get ever more sophisticated, we’re going to be able to do all manner of functions from a voice command, a gesture or even through a facial expression thanks to the incredible facial recognition technology seen in our Apple iPhone X smartphones.

And who could forget that it was the 1987 sci-fi movie, Robocop, that gave us our first glimpse of this incredible facial recognition technology that we now take for granted.

Even some of the more banal home appliances have been accurately predicted by sci-fi visionaries. Although The Jetsons was hardly the most ground-breaking sci-fi cartoon, it still managed to give us a robot that could hoover that was a touch more interesting that today’s robotic Roomba vacuum cleaners.

Thankfully there are a few things in our homes that have stayed relatively unchanged. Although some of the Ottoman beds that can be found at Bedstar must have seemed revolutionary when they first appeared for their multifunctional capacities, it seems that sci-fi authors have rarely bothered to imagine how we will sleep in the future – unless we are put in deep sleep for an intergalactic voyage!

So instead, it’s usually the more techno-centric parts of our home that are most attractive to sci-fi visionaries.

Whether it’s Arthur C. Clarke predicting the rise of virtual reality entertainment in his 1956 book, The City and the Stars, or even the 1980s movie, War Games, predicting how hacking and cyber-warfare could be carried out from the bedroom, it all shows how most things apart from Ottoman bed frames are hugely attractive for the greatest minds in sci-fi.

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at: [email protected]
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