Your Blade Runner Technology Is Ready, Rick Deckard

If you've been waiting for the noir tech from the 1982 Ridley Scott movie Blade Runner, rejoice. A lot of the pieces are falling into place:

  1. Flying Cars
  2. Neon Umbrella
  3. Advertising Airships
  4. Esper Photo Analysis
  5. Tiny Logos
  6. Genetically Designed Eyes
  7. Voight-Kampff Empathy Test
(1) Everybody likes the flying cars from Blade Runner; I assume that the dealership provided you with cool post-apocalypse CDs from Vangelis.

(flying cars from Blade RunnerBlade Runner car interior)

I kind of like the X-Hawk Fancraf VTOL aircraft; its great styling and capabilities put it in the Blade Runner class.

(X-Hawk Fancraft VTOL aircraft)

(2) Most recently, the LED umbrellas from the movie are now ready at ThinkGeek.

(Blade Runner Umbrella from the movie)

In the pre-apocalyptic future, the air will be so thick, it will be dark in the middle of the day. Coupled with the almost constant rain, you'll need to find a way to stay dry, and light your way to the noodle shop down the street.

Even if you don't live in a quasi-futuristic Los Angeles, and aren't a Blade Runner, you can still have the coolest umbrella on the street. With a push of a button, the shaft lights up, illuminating you and your path.

(Neon umbrella from ThinkGeek)

(3) And what about those amazing advertising airships from the film, blaring about how great life can be off-planet?

(Advertising blimp from Blade Runner)

Now, you can get yourself an A-170 Video Lightsign Airship.

(A-170 Video Lightsign Airship in ad mode)

(4) I always liked Deckard's Esper Photo Analysis device.

(Esper Photo Analysis picture)

It turns out that Adobe is working on something called a Light-Field Lens which is able to take a picture, then change even the focal length of the image in post-production, pulling out endless details. (See an explanatory video.)

(Adobe Light-Field Lens cluster)

(5) I'm also partial to those nano tech micro labels on consumer items - like robotic snakes.

(Micro label from Blade Runner)

If you think that this is too futuristic, take a look at an Atomic Pen That Uses Atoms For Pixels, courtesy of Osaka University researchers.

(Complex Patterning by Vertical Interchange Atom Manipulation
Using Atomic Force Microscopy

(6) On the gooey side, I always enjoy watching the scene in which the genetic designer responsible for replicant eyes meets his product line.

(Genetic design of eyes from Blade Runner)

Scientists at the University of Warwick in England have discovered a genetic switch that can cause tadpoles to produce an extra eye. This discovery is major step toward growing eyeballs or eye parts in a dish.

(Specific enzyme creates additional eye in tadpole)

(7) Last but not least, I always liked the idea of the Voight-Kampff empathy test from the book as well as the movie.

(Voight-Kampff machine depicted in Blade Runner movie)

Dr. Kent Diehl has been using portable MRI technology in association with provocative images to scan prison inmates for signs of psychopathy. Read more about how Portable MRI Scans For Psychopathy Like Voight-Kampff.

Click through on the links in the above story for more information about the Blade Runner movie technology as well as the real-life technology that makes the movie come alive.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/15/2009)

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