Timeline of Science Fiction Ideas, Technology and Inventions
(sorted by Publication Date)

Most of these items are linked to information about similar real-life inventions and inventors; click on an invention to learn more about it.

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1600-1899  1900-1939  1940's  1950's  1960's  1970's  1980's  1990's  2000's  2010's

Date Device Name (Novel Author)
1940 Talking Robot (from Robbie by Isaac Asimov)
1940 Two-Wheeled Car (from The Roads Must Roll by Robert Heinlein)
1940 Hush-a-Phone - noise suppression for telephones (from The Roads Must Roll by Robert Heinlein)
1940 Sub-Space (from Sun Maker by Jack Williamson)
1940 Tumblebug - a gyro-stabilized monocycle (from The Roads Must Roll by Robert Heinlein)
1940 Aircab - a flying taxi (from Farewell to the Master by Harry Bates)
1940 Rolling Road - public transport (from The Roads Must Roll by Robert Heinlein)
1940 Synthetic Personality (from If This Goes On... by Robert Heinlein)
1940 Gesturing Robot (from Robbie by Isaac Asimov)
1940 Solar Reception Screen - photovoltaics in action (from The Roads Must Roll by Robert Heinlein)
1940 Mind-Shield - internal mind control (from Slan by A.E. van Vogt)
1940 Hyperbolic Solenoid - mag lock picker (from The Exhalted by L. Sprague de Camp)
1940 Methuen Treatment - smart injection (from The Exhalted by L. Sprague de Camp)
1940 Slow Glass Rod - light stopped (from The Exhalted by L. Sprague de Camp)
1940 Telelubricator - perfectly frictionless (from The Exhalted by L. Sprague de Camp)
1940 Soft Speaker - focus sound like a spotlight (from The Exhalted by L. Sprague de Camp)
1940 Tesseract House (from -And He Built A Crooked House by Robert Heinlein)
1940 Robbie - mechanical child companion (from Robbie by Isaac Asimov)
1940 Barrier (Force Field) - force field fence (from Coventry by Robert Heinlein)
1940 Refreshing Chamber (from Coventry by Robert Heinlein)
1940 Ferretscope - who's listening? (from If This Goes On... by Robert Heinlein)
1940 Air Blast - the first air dryer (from Coventry by Robert Heinlein)
1940 Knockdown Cabin - portable shelter (from Coventry by Robert Heinlein)
1940 Sunpower Screen - photovoltaic cells power vehicle (from Coventry by Robert Heinlein)
1940 Steel Tortoise - the original ATV (from Coventry by Robert Heinlein)
1940 Vibroblade - not messy (from If This Goes On... by Robert Heinlein)
1940 Paralysis Bomb (from If This Goes On... by Robert Heinlein)
1940 Electro-Automatic Pistol (from The Worlds of Tomorrow by Manly Wade Wellman)
1940 Telechronometer (from Blowups Happen by Robert Heinlein)
1940 Rocket-Belt (from The Worlds of Tomorrow by Manly Wade Wellman)
1940 Pocket-Caller (from The Worlds of Tomorrow by Manly Wade Wellman)
1940 Silk-Metal (from The Worlds of Tomorrow by Manly Wade Wellman)
1940 Radium-Action Lighter (from The Worlds of Tomorrow by Manly Wade Wellman)
1940 Rocket Cruiser (from The Worlds of Tomorrow by Manly Wade Wellman)
1940 Atom-Shifter (from The Worlds of Tomorrow by Manly Wade Wellman)
1941 Magnetized Boots - made for walking (from Lost Rocket by Manly Wade Wellman)
1941 Roving Bomb - RC weaponry (from Lost Rocket by Manly Wade Wellman)
1941 Terraforming - remake a planet (from Collision Orbit by Jack Williamson)
1941 Sleep Surrogate - substitute for sleep (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Lunar Used Spacecraft Lot - low (gravity) prices (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Needle Gun (from Slacker's Paradise by Malcom Jameson)
1941 Solar Energy Beam - ultimate in solar power production (from Masquerade by Clifford Simak)
1941 Automatic Speeding Fine (from Old Fireball by Nat Schachner)
1941 Oxygen Freshener - breath of fresh air (from Lost Rocket by Manly Wade Wellman)
1941 Interplanetary Union Of Spacemen (from Old Fireball by Nat Schachner)
1941 Parking Orbit - take the gig down (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Neoterics - genius on tap (from Microcosmic God by Theodore Sturgeon)
1941 Disinto - a disintegrating ray (from Robot AL-76 Goes Astray by Isaac Asimov)
1941 Energy Weapon (from Seesaw by A.E. van Vogt)
1941 Positronic Brain - many connections (from Reason by Isaac Asimov)
1941 Solar Station (from Reason by Isaac Asimov)
1941 Psychophone (from The Mechanical Mice by Maurice A. Hugi)
1941 Robot Mother - self-reproducing automaton (from The Mechanical Mice by Maurice A. Hugi)
1941 'Chatterbox' News-Receptor (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Howard Families (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Mind Control Genetically Modified Food - by little people (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Alterable License Number (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Skycar (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Space Tanned (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Slidewalk - conveyor for people (from Sanity by Fritz Leiber)
1941 Golden Shuttles (Mechanical Mice) - tiny robots (from The Mechanical Mice by Maurice A. Hugi)
1941 Automated Hotel Reservation (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Controlway (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Talking Speedometer (from Biddiver by Theodore Sturgeon)
1941 Group Ego - a kind of group mind (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Newsbox (News-Receptor) - better than Google news plus Tivo (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Camden Speedster - compare this to an SUV (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Robopark - automated parking garage (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Pseudogravity (from Common Sense by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Spacegram - solar system telegram (from Jurisdiction by Nat Schachner)
1941 Thermatite (from Jurisdiction by Nat Schachner)
1941 Asteroid Claim Law (from Jurisdiction by Nat Schachner)
1941 Instant Customized Clothing - mass customization (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Cold-Sleep - hibernation for humans (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Astrogation (to Astrogate) - steer to the stars (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Weather Integrator - every day perfect (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Flitter (from Vortex Blaster by E.E. 'Doc' Smith)
1941 Hypnotic injunction (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Traffic Control Camera - automatic identification (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Joy-boat Junior - a private space yacht (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Self-Lighting Cigarette (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Fresher - refreshing chamber (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1941 Space Overalls - easier than space suits (from Lost Rocket by Manly Wade Wellman)
1941 Space Lawyer (Sky-Lawyer) - space laws (from Jurisdiction by Nat Schachner)
1941 Cold-Rest - reduced temperature somnolence (from Methuselah's Children by Robert Heinlein)
1942 Control Natural (from Beyond This Horizon by Robert Heinlein)
1942 Venus Equilateral Relay Station (from QRM - Interplanetary by George O. Smith)
1942 Gravanol - good at high accelerations (from QRM - Interplanetary by George O. Smith)
1942 Interplanetary Communications Center - sol system switchboard (from QRM - Interplanetary by George O. Smith)
1942 Broomstick Speedster (from Waldo by Robert Heinlein)
1942 Martian Sawgrass - air plant (from QRM - Interplanetary by George O. Smith)
1942 Groundhog (from Waldo by Robert Heinlein)
1942 Radiation Garment (from Waldo by Robert Heinlein)
1942 Wheelchair Space Station - home for the disabled in space (from Waldo by Robert Heinlein)
1942 Thought-Screen - stop alien mind control (from Gray Lensman by E.E. 'Doc' Smith)
1942 Directrix Z9M9Z (from Gray Lensman by E.E. 'Doc' Smith)
1942 Waldo - the origin of telefactoring (from Waldo by Robert Heinlein)
1942 Gravitation Paralysis (from The World With A Thousand Moons by Edmond Hamilton)
1942 Meteorscope (from The World With A Thousand Moons by Edmond Hamilton)
1942 Telaudiogram (from The World With A Thousand Moons by Edmond Hamilton)
1942 Weight-Shoes (from The World With A Thousand Moons by Edmond Hamilton)
1942 Vestan Parasite (from The World With A Thousand Moons by Edmond Hamilton)
1942 Black Coating - very early reference (from Gray Lensman by E.E. 'Doc' Smith)
1942 Zero-G Ashtray (from Waldo by Robert Heinlein)
1942 Wabbler - underwater robot (from The Wabbler by Murray Leinster)
1942 Capillotomer (from Beyond This Horizon by Robert Heinlein)
1942 Insosuit (from Runaround by Isaac Asimov)
1942 Three Laws of Robotics (Rules of Robotics) - the original robot laws (from Runaround by Isaac Asimov)
1942 Sobriety Ray - instantly sober (from The Twonky by Lewis Padgett)
1942 Space Tug - tows a space barge (from Describe a Circle by Eric Frank Russell)
1942 Electric Wall (from The World With A Thousand Moons by Edmond Hamilton)
1942 Radiant Power Receptor - broadcast power receiver (from Waldo by Robert Heinlein)
1942 Slideway - moving sidewalk (from Beyond This Horizon by Robert Heinlein)
1942 News Roundup - better than Tivo (from Beyond This Horizon by Robert Heinlein)
1942 The Twonky - original robot (from The Twonky by Lewis Padgett)
1943 Usuform Robot - not a mechanical man (from Q.U.R. by Anthony Boucher)
1943 Usuform Robot Bartender - with tentacles (from Q.U.R. by Anthony Boucher)
1943 Meteor-Spotting Radar (from Recoil by George O. Smith)
1943 Impervium - the way is shut (from Clash by Night by Lawrence O'Donnell)
1943 Micro Book (Microbook) - perfect for space travel (from One Way Trip by Anthony Boucher)
1943 Robot Taste Buds (from Robinc by Anthony Boucher)
1943 Rod of Wrath - a light sabreur (from Gather Darkness by Fritz Leiber)
1943 Pain Canopy (from Gather Darkness by Fritz Leiber)
1943 Verhaeren Factor - creative machines (from Robinc by Anthony Boucher)
1943 Force Pencil (from Gather Darkness by Fritz Leiber)
1943 Robot Chef - a creative cook (from Robinc by Anthony Boucher)
1944 Eternity Drug (from Far Centaurus by A.E. van Vogt)
1944 Relations with Extraterrestrial Life - before the Prime Directive (from Ogre by Clifford Simak)
1944 Asteroid Mining Robot (from Catch That Rabbit by Isaac Asimov)
1944 Robot Voice (from Catch That Rabbit by Isaac Asimov)
1944 Life Blanket (from Ogre by Clifford Simak)
1944 Automatic Massager - robot masseuse (from Far Centaurus by A.E. van Vogt)
1944 Multiple Robot Team - a squad plus leader (from Catch That Rabbit by Isaac Asimov)
1944 Robotic Arm - handy for robots (from City by Clifford Simak)
1944 Robot Lawn Mower - already here (from City by Clifford Simak)
1944 Battle Integrator - a moving solidograph (from The Bureaucrat by Malcom Jameson)
1944 Suit-Radio - space suit comm (from Long Way by George O. Smith)
1944 Star Base (from Star Base X by R.M. Williams)
1945 Vision Plate - early flat screen (from First Contact by Murray Leinster)
1945 Meteor Blasters - clear the spaceways (from First Contact by Murray Leinster)
1945 Overdrive - it's FTL (from First Contact by Murray Leinster)
1945 Electronic Locator (from World of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt)
1945 Sleeve Communicator - before ST:TNG (from First Contact by Murray Leinster)
1945 Games Machine (from World of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt)
1945 Geosynchronous Satellite - invention of idea (from V2 for Ionospheric Research by Arthur C. Clarke)
1945 Plastic Constructor (3D Printer) (from Things Pass By by Murray Leinster)
1945 Videophone (from World of Null-A by A.E. van Vogt)
1945 Deflector (from The Ethical Equations by Murray Leinster)
1946 Star Travel (from Forgotten World by Edmond Hamilton)
1946 Carson Circuit - the secret of the Internet (from A Logic Named Joe by Murray Leinster)
1946 Logics Service (from A Logic Named Joe by Murray Leinster)
1946 Tanks - massive mass storage (from A Logic Named Joe by Murray Leinster)
1946 Logics - early home computer (from A Logic Named Joe by Murray Leinster)
1946 Asteroid Mine - ore from space (from Love Among The Robots by Emmett McDowell)
1946 Plastic Igloo - with an airlock (from Love Among The Robots by Emmett McDowell)
1946 Gravity Port (from Shadow Over Venus by Frank Belknap Long, Jr.)
1946 Mining Worm (Robot) - dig, robot, dig! (from Love Among The Robots by Emmett McDowell)
1947 Synchrophased Power Beams (from Propagandist by Murray Leinster)
1947 Ion Drive - weak but strong (from Equalizer by Jack Williamson)
1947 Mechanical Funeral (from The Coffin by Ray Bradbury)
1947 Psychoscanner (from Propagandist by Murray Leinster)
1947 Gyrocab - first use (from You Are Forbidden! by Jerry Shelton)
1947 Planet-Smasher (from Propagandist by Murray Leinster)
1947 Hedgerly Effect (from Meddler's Moon by George O. Smith)
1947 Gravitic Generator (from Meddler's Moon by George O. Smith)
1947 Wango Wave - sign of hyperspace (from Propagandist by Murray Leinster)
1948 Learning-Cap - for thinking (from The Knowledge Machine by Edmond Hamilton)
1948 Solidograph-Projector - gives you that 3D image (from Police Operation by H. Beam Piper)
1948 Electro-Education (from The Knowledge Machine by Edmond Hamilton)
1948 Brain Erasure (from The Knowledge Machine by Edmond Hamilton)
1948 Star Drive (from Genius by Poul Anderson)
1948 Memory Hole (from 1984 by George Orwell)
1948 Portable Telephone - early reference (from Space Cadet by Robert Heinlein)
1948 High-Frequency Oven - essence of the microwave (from Space Cadet by Robert Heinlein)
1948 Atmospheric Braking (from Space Cadet by Robert Heinlein)
1948 Personal Rocket Jet (from Space Cadet by Robert Heinlein)
1948 Crimestop - no dangerous thoughts (from 1984 by George Orwell)
1948 Telescreen - Big Brother is watching (from 1984 by George Orwell)
1948 Speakwrite - transcription of tyranny (from 1984 by George Orwell)
1948 Microwavable Food - pre-packaged ready to heat-n-eat (from Space Cadet by Robert Heinlein)
1948 Novel-Writing Machines (from 1984 by George Orwell)
1948 Space Ark - moving to another world (from Decision Illogical by N.B. Wilkinson)
1948 Solidograph - tiny 3D projection (from Police Operation by H. Beam Piper)
1948 Precog (v) - I see you (from Police Operation by H. Beam Piper)
1948 Moonquake-Proof Habitats - thanks to Robert Heinlein (from Gentlemen, Be Seated by Robert Heinlein)
1948 Tag-Along Balloon - find the space station leak (from Gentlemen, Be Seated by Robert Heinlein)
1948 Moonbase (or Moon Base) - first reference (from 240,000 Miles Straight Up by L. Ron Hubbard)
1948 Doublethink (from 1984 by George Orwell)
1949 Repulsor (from What Mad Universe by Frederic Brown)
1949 'Fresher (from Gulf by Robert Heinlein)
1949 Emergency Treatment Tank (Chamber) (from Agent of Vega by James Schmitz)
1949 Spacewarp Drive (from What Mad Universe by Frederic Brown)
1949 Gee (from Sacred Martian Pig by Margaret Saint Clair)
1949 Metal Calculator Planet - the Burroughs planet (from Limiting Factor by Clifford Simak)
1949 Synthetigrav (from Agent of Vega by James Schmitz)
1949 Desert Cabbage (from Red Planet by Robert Heinlein)
1949 Stationary Automatic Blaster (from Red Planet by Robert Heinlein)

1600-1899  1900-1949  1950's  1960's  1970's  1980's  1990's  2000's

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