Have you ever dreamed of being a super hero? When I was a kid, my favourite TV show was Sailor Moon. I loved the thought of these cool schoolgirl heroes with their magical items that gave them super powers. I found a broken, old fishing rod and swished it around in the air, imagining I was a sailor scout and the rod was my sceptre with the power to freeze objects and enemies. It was a pretty crude excuse for a magical item and the powers were all imaginary.
Thanks to advancements in tech, there are much better ways to feel like a super hero and experience real super powers. Just like Bruce Wayne, all you really need to be a super hero is a whole heap of money. So if you’ve got some extra coin to spend and dreams of experiencing superhuman abilities, we’ve put together a list of some of the tech you’ll want to check out.
Before we get into it, I just want to say that many of these inventions do come with a certain degree of risk, so it’s best to leave them to the grownups and let the kids stick to using their imagination and broken, old fishing rods.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Well, yeah, most of the time it is. As cool as it would be to sprout wings and fly like a bird, evolution decided to stop short and left Homo sapiens bound to the ground. But that didn’t stop us fighting nature to get us up in the air with inventions like the aeroplane. Despite being a shining beacon of human accomplishment, no one is going to feel like a super hero on an aeroplane, crammed into a tiny seat next to a crying baby for hours at a time.
What we want is a more egocentric method of flying, and that’s what you’ll get with the Martin Jetpack. Designed to be the ultimate in personal transportation, the Martin Aircraft Company hopes that the jetpack will be used for everything from flying to a restaurant to avoid traffic, to saving people’s lives. The jetpack won’t be available until late 2017, but you can put down a deposit now to go in the priority queue and be one of the first to get your hands on one.
Before there was Cat Mario and Racoon Mario, the coolest Mario power-up was blasting fireballs with the help of a Fire Flower; enemies had no chance against the bursts of flames exploding from Mario’s gloved fists. You won’t need a magic flower to conjure up flames, thanks to the Pyro Mini Fireshooter. This tiny tech uses flash paper, a favourite tool of the magician trade, to create quickly burning bursts of flames. You can strap the device to your wrist, so it looks like you’re shooting fireballs straight from the palms of your hands.
This device was made with illusionists in mind, intended to enhance the pizzazz of magic tricks. But if you don’t mind paying the $147 USD, there’s no reason you can’t get one simply for the fun of it.
Talking to Animals
“If I could walk with the animals, talk with the animals, grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals”… It’s a concept that was contemplated in the 1960s with the release of Doctor Dolittle and is still a power that every pet owner wishes they had: the ability to communicate with animals. Even though I’m pretty sure if he could talk the only two things my Silky Terrier would say to me is “Let’s go for a walk” and “I want what you’re eating”, I’d love to be able to know what goes on inside that cute, fluffy head of his – and the technology to do so might be right around the corner.
No More Woof is an invention by the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery (NSID) that is promising to basically read your dog’s mind to tell you what it’s thinking. Using micro computing and EEG readers, the doggy headset analyses thought patterns and spits them out through the built-in speakers. There’s still no solid date on when the tech will be available to order, but they’ll want to do it soon before other companies pip them to the post. Being able to communicate better with dogs could lead to massive improvements in human safety and even save lives, so it won’t be long until more developments are made in that area.
Any other Evangelion fans around? If you haven’t heard of it, the anime cartoon series revolves around giant, human-controlled bio-machines called Evangelion Units, which are used to destroy mysterious monsters called Angels which started appearing on Earth. Though perhaps not the most child-appropriate cartoon around, I watched it growing up and fantasized about how awesome it would be to pilot my own Evangelion Unit. If I had $1.3 million USD, maybe someday I could.
The Kuratas is a rideable robot, developed in Japan by company Suidobashi Heavy Industry. Standing at an impressive 12 foot tall, the Kuratas can’t walk like a human, but it does have wheels to allow mobility. The machine is probably too slow to chase Angels, only able to travel at around 10km/h, but it’s highly technical in the cockpit with augmented reality display and an automated target acquisition and tracking interface to keep its “weapons” (BB cannons) locked on to its target. Robot-loving millionaires can grab one of these babies for themselves from Amazon Japan (but I get the feeling they won’t ship to Australia).
Despite the futuristic technology currently available, we’re still in the early stages of various superhero technologies. Researchers are currently experimenting with invisibility cloaks, mind-reading devices and ways to breathe underwater – but it could be a while until we devices of these sorts becoming commercially available to the masses.
In the meantime, you can always check out YouTube channel ColinFurze, who has his own DIY X-Men series where he invents machines that help him imitate the superpowers of various X-men such as Iceman, Wolverine, and Magneto to name a few.
What superpower do you wish you had? Let us know in the comments below.