Fictional technology leaps from movies to real life

JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin

There were a lot of cool things that happened in 2014 and yes, some not so cool things happened too. This isn’t about all that.

We have a brand new year of innovation to look forward to! So what can we expect to see in 2015?

The eagerly awaited Windows 10 is due for release some time around the middle of the year, with a consumer preview being released on January 21st. Microsoft have taken a lot of knocks in recent years, with Windows 8 failing to capture the hearts (and pockets) of consumers. Will Windows 10 be the fix we have all been waiting for that will breath new life into the operating system?

Do you remember that scene in Back to the Future II where in 2015 Marty uses a hoverboard? A company called Hendo launched a Kickstarter project and reached their funding goal on December 15th. You can find out all about it, including seeing the real thing in action on their Kickstarter page at

What about those fantastic speeder bikes in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi? Thanks to another successful Kickstarter campaign, Malloy Aeronautics (which is a UK based company) is developing a hoverbike. You can find out all about it by going to their website at or if you just want to watch a cool YouTube video go to

Continuing on with the vehicle theme, on December 22nd Google announced the production of their first full prototype self driving car. Previous prototypes have not been complete builds, in that some didn’t have headlights and other bits and pieces, or they were developed to test specific things and so didn’t need all the other gubbins. This latest prototype brings that all together into one fully operational car. Expect to hear more about self driving vehicles in 2015.

Google Glass, which brings Android wearable technology to your face, is now available in the UK. While still expensive in comparison to smartphones, we should be seeing more from Google before long. Speaking of wearables, everyone seems to be doing smart watches now. Google launched Android Wear last year, and Apple unveiled the Apple Watch. Microsoft have also joined the fray with the Microsoft Band. It is only available in the United States at the moment, but the expectations are that it will become available in the UK later this year.

Okay, so I have mentioned Apple, Microsoft and Google. What about Canonical? Who are they? They are the company behind the popular Linux distribution Ubuntu. They have been working on a product called Ubuntu Touch for the last two years and finally made a stable release for manufacturers back in September. They have been working closely with carriers and third party app developers throughout the process, so expect to see new devices becoming available soon with a healthy app ecosystem.

Now, where is my sonic screwdriver?

Alan Stainer