Caroline Gerdes
Updated September 08, 2014

So, we just figured out how telepathy works, and by “we” I mean scientists. Apparently, Harvard researchers sent the first ever mental message between two people—one person in India, another in France—without any actual contact. So we can check that off the list.

Now on to teleportation, please. As kids, we watched our favorite sci-fi flicks and dystopian thrillers and dreamed about the gadgets and robot pets in our future. Sadly, time has passed, we’re older now, and we are without flying cars and passport stamps from the moon. While some of the predicted technology of our youth has proven to be a little far-fetched, there are some items that really should be on the market by now. Here is a field guide to the products we wish existed.

1. Food Replicator – Star Trek

While Star Trek has influenced several real-life inventions, there are many awesome gadgets from the show that I wish existed in real life from the TNG holodeck to teleportation—every time I fly I wish for a “beam me up” alternative. While many of these inventions are light-years away, there is one in particular that should be around today: The Food Replicator. It could be the 3D printer of cuisine and a huge kitchen timesaver. Come on MIT, get on this.

2. The Hoverboard – Back to the Future

The more appropriate question should be, “What of Doc’s inventions don’t I want?” From Mr. Fusion, to the flux capacitor, to the DeLorean itself, Back to the Future is a hotbed of technological wants. But, I think we all know what the film’s most desired contraption is, let’s say it together: The Hoverboard. We may not have the skateboard of the future, but Nike did tease us with a line of McFly-inspired power laces, set to be on the market in 2015.

3. Outfit Selector – Clueless

OK, OK, this may not be a fancy, state-of-the-art product, but why don’t I have Cher Horowitz’s revolving closet and computer program?

4. Speeder Bike – Star Wars

Another series to have influenced several real-life gizmos, there is one device yet to be created IRL. No, I’m not talking about a light saber, although that would be fun until somebody loses a hand. Similar to the sci-fi flying car staple, Star Wars introduced the speeder bike in Return of the Jedi. Maybe I just have a vested interest because of the Ewok drivers. . .

5. Instant Nail Polish Pen – Total Recall

Total Recall—I’m talking Schwarzenegger—is ripe with awesome futuristic technology. Though one of the film’s subtler innovations, I would really like the nail polish that changes color with the tap of a stylus to just exist already!

6. Floating Vendor – The Fifth Element

It’s hard to pinpoint which element of Korben Dallas’ apartment I’d most like to see circa now. But the drive-up chinese delivery vendor is super green. Maybe it wouldn’t be a floating vendor, but I like the idea of personal, drive-up counter service. Also, when can we start dressing like Ruby Rhod?

7. Breakfast Machine – Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

Maybe it’s impractical, but who doesn’t want Pee-Wee’s breakfast machine? We’re talking eggs, bacon, and pancakes (AKA Mr. Breakfast) whimsically made and ready in minutes.

(Images Via, Via, Via, Via, Via, Via)