Our use of unmanned drones is well documented, and we know about missiles that trigger before they hit the ground. But some of Black Ops 2′s more, shall we say, "imaginative" technologies are based in reality too -- they'll just need a little pushing along before they get to the hyper-weaponised state they are in Treyarch's imagining of 2025.
While the Call of Duty series may be running out of time periods to set its whack-a-mole FPS gameplay in, Black Ops 2 treated its futuristic setting with a degree of practicality. Rather than just making stuff up, or going for sci-fi tropes, they took present-day, real world technologies and extrapolated what they would look like many years on.
When you're inventing technology, there's a good chance history will prove you wrong. But predicting existing technology will get smaller, and more effective? That's a pretty safe bet.
The real-world equivalent to those area-denying microwave turrets that block an entrance to a bomb site? That would be the Active Denial System. In Black Ops 2, this microwave is a lot more "micro", but it's still pretty amazing that this technology can already fit on a truck. Pumping 95GHz of microwave energy that specifically targets the outermost layer of your skin (penetrating clothes), it's a non-lethal beam designed to make you want to do nothing more than get out of the way. Here's some info on the ADS, as reported by the History Channel:
And here's a few more people that can't help but get out of the way, even when they know what's coming:
Seems magical, doesn't it? Like they must have been desperate for an anti-camping measure and said "Screw it, he's a wizard"? Well, that technology exists in the form of Genia Photonics' molecular-level scanning -- and it isn't too far off from being the size of a gun attachment either. In fact, it's already portable.
While intended to sit in airports and scan up to 50m in front of it for banned substances such as drugs or weapons, this device can be programmed to search for anything. Including human biology. If it has a molecule (Hint: everything does), it can scan it. When are we expected to see them? 2013.
It's a technology so far advanced and so effective that it raises serious questions about privacy, and who should have access to it. The next time you call in a UAV, or stick those anti-camper sights on your gun, just think -- there are activists back home wishing you didn't have that tech to shoot terrorists with. The nerve!
Can you think of any other real-world examples of tech that games have extrapolated into believable fiction? Tom Clancy games are a main culprit, if perhaps a little more fantastical. But who knows -- maybe the war of the future is one kid in his bedroom, speaking into his mic, a la Endwar?
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