How pervasive is technology in a sci fi world?

A look at Teleportation technology and its uses.

By R.W. Van Sant

As a thought experiment, I like to think about how just one scientific advancement found in a science fiction setting could radically affect the lives and society of those who develop them. For this piece, I chose to look at the transporter, matter transporter, teleport device common to science fiction.

Many movies and stories use matter teleportation technology. Few, however, in my opinion, use it to the best effect. It is a groundbreaking technology as useful as that could be used in almost every aspect of life, not just in getting from a planetary surface or to eliminate the need for spacewalks. By applying just this one technology to solve common problems, it could improve the lives of all, eliminating nearly every hardship we face as a species. It may take centuries for the developments to spread to the entire population.

History has shown us that the longer a technology exists, the more uses we find for it, and the more segments of society demand it. Improvements in technology will reduce the size of the devices, the more energy-efficient they become, and eventually the more pervasive it becomes in society. Teleportation technology would eventually make devices, procedures, and techniques that we take for granted obsolete and potentially barbaric.

The most obvious use is of course personal travel and supply logistics. Stockpiling of supplies and materials will become counterproductive when they can be delivered from an the origin as needed.

Waiting in lines or traffic will be the stuff of grandparents’ horror stories as workers, patients or clients can teleport into work or office the moment   their presence is required.

Even if we accept that an energy shield could block a teleport beam, guns and weapons can still be improved by eliminating the need for power packs, or ammunition magazines. A nearby storage unit could teleport bullets , and empty blaster magazines directly into the weapons. In biological warfare— the pathogens can be made to rain over targets.

Vehicles and spacecraft would no longer need to use reaction mass as the engines would pull it directly from an external storage location. Light speed travel could be achieved   with standard rocket thrusters. 

In the field of medicine, babies could be safely teleported into the world without risking the  health of the mother, as well as cancers or any object lodged in the patient. Organ transplants could be performed in minutes.  Wounded individuals could be teleported directly to surgical wards. Viruses and diseases could be targeted and removed with little fuss. Mankind’s life expectancy could increase in ways we cannot even imagine. 

Even the way we get food would be changed. Food could be teleported directly from farm to home., Any food from any region. Food can be grown, slaughtered, and harvested as needed preventing waste and spoilage. Long-term storage of food in the home may become a thing of history while eliminating hunger worldwide.

These are just a few ideas and I could go on in the fields of education and law enforcement. IO hope that this brief analysis of how just one science fiction technology would affect the societies that had developed it helps to inspire other writers to think about their worlds and how to take some of the futuristic technology that they may be taking for granted and use it to make their worlds a richer and more believable one.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s