What science fiction technology do you wish were open source?

What science fiction technology should be open source?

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Science fiction ranges from complete fabrications to some surprisingly accurate visions for the future. What tool, device, object, or other item from your science fiction library do you hope, or even expect, to one day find an open source version of?

We posed this question to our staff and team of community moderators here at Opensource.com and got back some really creative and interesting responses. Here are some of our favorites:

  • 3D space photo viewer, from Blade Runner, because while the hardware was probably created by a corporation, the looking-around-corners stuff was definitely a hacker changing the way the hardware worked.
  • Flying cars, from Blade Runner and Fifth Element, because cars like these should definitely respect user freedom!
  • Gort, from The Day the Earth Stood Still, because such an advanced race would and should be completely open.
  • HAL9000, from 2001: A Space Odyssey, because open source is a surefire way to stop computer mutiny.
  • Holodecks, from Star Trek, because we all need more mindless entertainment.
  • The Intergalactic Banking System, from Charles Stross's book Neptune's Brood, because intergalactic banking protocals could definitely use a little peer review. 
  • Lightsabers, from Star Wars, because it's part of Jedi training to build your own, so the tech must be achievable.
  • Orac, from Blake's 7, because everyone should have a homemade super computer with a superiority complex.
  • The Positronic Brain, conceptualized by Isaac Asimov but invoked in many sci fi universes, because everything should be Three Laws compliant.
  • Proton packs, from Ghostbusters, because nothing about unlicensed nuclear accelerators should be proprietary.
  • Replicants, from Blade Runner, because we must be able to see what they've seen with our eyes.
  • Soylent Green, because there would be no surprise that it's people.
  • The TARDIS, from Doctor Who, because we'd finally understand how it's bigger on the inside.
  • TCRI Mutagen, from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, because who wouldn't want to grow their own ninja animals?
  • Wintermute, from Neuromancer, because a self-conscious AI has much to teach us.

Thanks to Bryan Behrenshausen, Deb Nicholson, Scott Nesbitt, and David Both for their contributions, and especially to Seth Kenlon for posing the question and providing many of these examples.

If we listed every great idea, they wouldn't fit in our poll, so please add your own in the comments below. What sci fi technology would you open source?

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