You probably know what a smart watch is, but how about a Waldo? Take a break with this high-tech trivia test and match these inventions with the science fiction that inspired them. Check your answers below to read some surprising sci-fi background!

1. Mobile Phone

              A) Star Wars       B) Star Trek         C) War of the Worlds      D) I, Robot

2. Rocket

              A) Star Trek         B) I, Robot           C) War of the Worlds      D) The Martian Chronicles

3. Waldo

               A) War of the Worlds     B) Lost in Space   C) The Martian Chronicles          D) None of these

 4. Ear Buds

                A) Fahrenheit 451      B) Invasion of the Body Snatchers    C) Star Wars      D) None of these

5. Smart Watch

                A) I, Robot           B) Lost in Space                 C) Dick Tracy       D) Fahrenheit 451


1. B

Martin Cooper, a former director at Motorola, credited the television show Star Trek as his inspiration for his invention of the first mobile phone in the early 1970s. Later in 1996, Motorola produced the small StarTAC flip phone, which seemed to bear a strong resemblance to the hand-held communicators used by Captain Kirk’s team.

2. C
American scientist Robert H. Goddard, who built the first liquid- fueled rocket which launched in 1926, is reported to have been fascinated with interplanetary travel after reading H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. Goddard, whose developments eventually made space flight a reality, is now considered by many as a founder of modern rocket science.

3. D
In a short story by Robert A. Heinlein published in Astounding Magazine in 1942, the character Waldo was unable to lift his head or use his hands to drink or eat, so he created a mechanical hand that he used with a glove and harness. Today, mechanical arms called Waldos are used by the nuclear industry and in automated factories.

4. A

Ray Bradbury’s 1953 classic Fahrenheit 451 predicted that society would become addicted to media and entertainment. The story proposed that “thimble radios” and “seashells,” which are described much like today’s earbuds, would be how people sought information, talk shows, music and more.

5. C

Okay, we admit it—comic-book detective Dick Tracy isn’t exactly science fiction. But his technology was! Many folks once imagined being able to speak into their watches as though they were phones, like Dick Tracy was able to communicate with his colleagues via a “2-Way Wrist Radio”.


Interested in how creative ideas can become tech tools of the future? Us, too! To learn more about how tech-infused, career-focused learning has always been a mainstay at DeVry University, click here.