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Each new innovative technology ups the ante for the next along with our expectations for performance. In fact, I’m reminded of a Louis CK piece from a couple years ago that captures this sentiment exactly. Because of these raised expectations, Hollywood has pushed to up the ante for special effects in movies—to leave any sense of the mundane in the dust. However, when taking a look at this summer’s biggest blockbusters, it seems that reality is quickly catching up to the silver screen’s science fiction and fantasy.

The Amazing Spiderman – Sure, it’s a bit impressive when The Lizard (aka Dr. Connors) uses a regeneration serum to help regrow limbs and human tissue. But what about in the real world? With amazing advancements in stem cell research, scientists can now grow a rudimentary human liver. Technological systems are also on this path: Cisco Security Intelligence Operations (SIO) helps you prevent major threats to your network, before it occurs. It’s like an immune system for your network.  Take that, Lizard!

Prometheus – In this film about alien life forms and artificial intelligence, we meet “David,” a work android that understands human emotions but cannot feel them. Of course, this brings to mind the recent story about Eugene Goostman, a chat bot posing as a teenage boy. The bot won the largest Turing challenge in history, which tests to see if a machine can trick humans into thinking it, too, is human. In the next 50 years, the Intelligent Network will connect everyone and everything, and we may not know if it is a human or machine on the other end.

Men in Black III – I have often thought, when looking at bad hair or bad fashion photos from my past, how handy a Men in Black neuralyzer would be—I could just forget those images forever. It’s not too far off though, as Wired reports that scientists are on the verge of being able to pinpoint and erase specific memories. Now if only we could make the painful memories of Token Ring disappear…

Total Recall – Thinking of this movie’s futuristic flying cars has me drumming my fingers impatiently on my steering wheel when sitting in traffic on California’s 880 Freeway. So you can imagine how pleased I was when I read that Terrafugia’s car passed its first round of flying tests! But the truth is, we’re already well on our way to seeing light at the end of the commuting tunnel: with the Internet of Things, people, devices, and objects around the world, will be networked and connected together. In addition, concepts like Cisco’s connected cars will soon be connecting everything from buses to trains to personal vehicles.

I love that we’re giving Hollywood a run for its money. Imagination should always span all industries. It’s what feeds innovation.

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