Ten Inventions Inspired by Science Fiction

The innovators behind objects like the cellphone or the helicopter took inspiration from works like “Star Trek” and War of the Worlds

Leonard Nimoy, Ep. # 1, 'The Cage' 1966 - 1969 (© Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Combat Information Center

Combat Information Center
(Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Casey H. Kyhl / Released)
In the 1930s and ’40s, E.E. “Doc” Smith delighted readers with his “Lensmen” novels, chronicling the adventures of a futuristic Galactic Patrol. In a 1947 letter, sci-fi editor James W. Campbell informed Smith that the Directrix—a command ship featured in his series—had inspired a U.S. naval officer to introduce the concept of combat information centers aboard warships.

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