The buzz product (so far) at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is LG's wrist 3G phone — which has fanboys all dreaming about talking into their wrist a la Dick Tracy. Wait, does anybody even remember Dick Tracy? I remember the terrible Warren Beatty movie from 1990, which makes it older than most of the people at CES.
OK, I just looked and it seems somebody is still drawing Dick Tracy, making the police gumshoe a spry 77. Who knew?
Anyway, now that brilliant scientists have gotten around to recreating comic strip gadgets, there are a few inventions I'd like them to get to work on...
Star Trek: Tricorder — Scan alien lifeforms/plants, diagnose your health, vehicles, etc. And I'm talking the real, looks like a bulky Pentax version, not some iPhone app.
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Babel Fish — Instantly understand any language in real-time translation. Just stick it in your ear. Sure, there will still be massive cultural misunderstandings, but at least you'll know what they are yelling at you.
Jetsons: Flying Car — Who wouldn't want a flying car? A sky full of drivers, what's the worst that could happen. I suppose a Transporter would be more efficient, but like Dr. McCoy, I'm not ready to have my atoms scattered back and forth across space.
Futurama: The What-If Machine — A gadget that will tell me, in a humorously detailed fashion, how all my decisions will turn out. Of course, I'd settle for a Finglonger.
Addendum: If you are ever looking for images of the Jetsons, make sure you have SafeSearch turned on. I've seen things I can't unsee.