The Total Recall reboot stars Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel, and they are hitting theaters on Aug 3. It tells the story of a man named Doug Quaid (played by Farrell) who tries to spice up his boring life by having a memory of a secret agent adventure implanted in his brain. The problem is that he's already a secret agent, and the procedure unlocks memories his former handlers suppressed.
Technology like this, and a few others from the show already exist. Let's take a look.
Planting false memories into the mind. Is that really possible? In the real world, scientists are already developing a myriad of ways to do this, and they starting with mice. Mice have had functions of their hippocampus successfully replaced with a microprocessor, allowing them to remember how to perform actions they’ve forgotten.
In mice that didn't have these memories suppressed, the chip enhanced them and in another experiment, mice had memories recalled on command through the administration of a drug causing them to believe things were happening while they weren't. Psychologists have been studying the phenomenon of false memories for a long time now, and some believe that certain types of subliminal suggestion could actually lead to the ability to implant them at will.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could record whatever we were dreaming and play it back after that. One of the technologies present in Total Recall is "memory recording". In a way that seems similar to memory implantation, this one differs, in the film, by preserving the experience of its customers, in any case there's a problem with the memory implant that needs to be "reinstalled".
While this sounds so sci-fi, scientists have been experimenting on how to record and play back mental images. It could actually lead to medical advances to treat memory loss or other brain conditions. Scientists used an MRI machine to record the flow of blood through the visual cortex of someone's brain, and the smarty pants at UC Berkeley can reconstruct video shown to test subjects as it’s being interpreted by their minds.
Imagine the possibilities with that!
Magnetically Levitating Cars
Not exactly very far fetched these days. But Total Recall features fully flight capable cars, one that hovers above an elevated roadway by using superconducting magnets. And it seems we might just be closer to this than you think when you check out a demonstration of quantum levitation by researchers at Tel Aviv University presented last year.
The levitation method uses a super cooled puck that is made from a compound called yttrium barium copper oxide. It stays in line with a track while traveling, but can be simultaneously locked in place at any angle.
What other technologies in science fiction movies today are real and are being worked on by scientists now? Let us know if you think of any more!