Culture 5 min read

4 Video Game Inventions Coming to the Real World

Not only is Apple patenting a windshield with a HUD, we are one step closer to floating robots like Ray from Fortnite. Video game inventions are a very real thing...or at least inventions inspired by the tech we see in video games. Are your favorites close to coming out of R&D?

Video game inventions have always been at the core of our popular collective imagination. Now, they may soon become a reality. | Image By elysart | Shutterstock

Video game inventions have always been at the core of our popular collective imagination. Now, they may soon become a reality. | Image By elysart | Shutterstock

For a long time, video games have been the realm of fantasy and imagination. Now, these video game inventions are coming to life. 

What is the coolest gizmo, gadget or invention you’ve seen in a video game?

From advanced medical technology to plenty of laser weapons, video game inventions just were too far out for our real world to make happen…yet.

But, fear not, there are four video game inventions that might be just around the corner.

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example of an AR powered windshield as seen in Incorporated | Syfy

1. Apple Patents AR Windshield for Self-Driving Cars

The idea of an AR powered windshield is no different than your average heads-up display.

Think about it: a HUD provides relevant information as you move about your environment. It can warn you of incoming threats, maintenance to be performed, or even just ping you whenever you get a new email.

A HUD may not be a singular video game invention, but video games certainly did their part to adopt and adapt the concept.

This idea is ubiquitous across all types of video games, but features heavily in games with a future focus or racing games. Space games benefit the most from this concept of a HUD such as No Man’s Sky, Star Citizen, and Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Since Apple has been testing self-driving cars, this move to patent an AR windshield comes as little surprise. In fact, it matches perfectly with Apple’s signature FaceTime feature.

Apple via Tom’s Guide

Of course, utilizing FaceTime via your VR windshield whilst driving a non-autonomous vehicle seems like a horrendously bad idea. Despite this, you can already access figures from Apple’s patent.

As you can see, the technology will definitely require some internal sensors. Tom’s Guide suggests that they’ll need depth cameras, infrared cameras, and kinematic sensors.

This has to do with the fact that the technology should be able to display elements on top of real-world elements. So while looking at your vehicle speed, you could also take in information about road conditions.

But the patent also suggests that the technology won’t stop with windshields.

Guardian GT robot | Sarcos Robotics via Edgy Labs

2. That Isn’t a Nightmare Robot; it’s the Future

Maybe it is the lighting or the thing that resembles a face in the center of the top part of this robot, but the Guardian GT is, in fact, not here to kill everyone.

You can operate it remotely to move heavy objects and do so with kinematic equivalence.

This reminds me of dozens of robots across various video games. But it also reminds me of the more banal aspects of culture in games like Final Fantasy 7 or anything cyberpunk.

I could totally see a robot like this working in a Shinra factory, couldn’t you?

But while this robot might one day lead to something like the robot you see Ripley pilot in Aliens, other technology might lead to the creation of Dr. Octopus from Spiderman.

Either way, exoskeletons and soon-to-be-manned robots are approaching.

Plasma Lance from XCOM 2 — an example of a possible future weapon with the use of video game inspiration | Firaxis and 2K via Pinterest

3. Military Focused Technological Improvements

Everyone knows how prevalent military technology is in many video games.

You have tons of weapons you can modify and enhance in games like Fallout 4, Wolfenstein, Destiny 2, and so many others.

But military tech also includes crazy medpack stuff that (hopefully) isn’t just injecting yourself with stimulants like in many a video game…Killing Floor, Battlefield, Fallout…to name just a few.

DARPA already conceived an injectable foam to help reduce bleeding on the battlefield as early as 2012. America, among others, even has a missile shield these days.

But unmanned drones still feature prominently in real-world military R&D. The latest news reports that the Silent Falcon drones could simply recharge with a laser. Then, they could — theoretically — keep flying forever this way.

Unfortunately, we still have to keep waiting for laser weapons or a sweet, sweet electric, slag, corrosive, ice, or fire weapon like the ones in the Borderlands franchise. I’ll pass on the vaults, aliens, and ending up like Handsome Jack though, thanks.

4. Flight Suits, Gliders, and Comics Collide

So this one stretches the title of this article a bit, but flight suits and gliders exist in video games, too. Just think of anything with a space suit or even, to an extent, the titan technology in the Titanfall series.

But giant, powerful, weaponized exoskeletons is another article entirely. Perhaps a better, more apt example would be Ray from the story mode aspect of Fortnite. She’s a robotic assistant who can also hover and float around. Also like Weebo, the robot from Flubber.

These inventions barely scratch the surface of hover and flight suit technology we see in more advanced forms such as Iron Man and the Green Goblin.

The Gravity suit in the video above leverages jet engines to fly. But the Flyboard Air functions more like hover technology.

Either way, we are getting ever closer to playing flying laser tag.

Video Game Playground

Video game inventions are all the source of human imagination and ingenuity. As video games become ever more popular and prevalent in our society, we will see the word become more affected by it.

Humans may have created and influenced video games entirely, but now, video games may begin to influence us more than ever before.

Which video game inventions would you want to see made real?

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Juliet Childers

Content Specialist and EDGY OG with a (mostly) healthy obsession with video games. She covers Industry buzz including VR/AR, content marketing, cybersecurity, AI, and many more.

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