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In the Sci-Fi literature, along time, we have seen a lot of futuristic gadgets, which, at that time were simply futuristic products, but soon, closer to our days became a reality. In this article I gathered some Star Trek Sci-Fi gadgets which became in time reality, and some of them are pretty usual now. It might not be anything special if you are a Star Trek fan, because I think you have already made all the connections between the devices in the movie and the nowadays real life, but there are people around us who don’t make these links and don’t think about technology evolution in time, and I would like to make this analogy, between Star Trek, a SF movie and the reality surrounding us. Many of them can be owned by any of us, but some of them are still in the works, and some are just strange and I don’t find any utility for them.
One of the most interesting and well known concept in Star Trek, which became a successful real product is the cell phone. In the movie they had some sort of flip-open communicators, and as a funny fact, Kirk and the crew were often cut from the ship for some reason, like having “no service” nowadays. Kirk always opened his flip communicator and asked to be beamed up.
I wouldn’t really like to see the real version of the Phaser. In the movie, a focused beam of energy from a handheld device was able to stun the opponent. If it was set in the “kill” mode, it could even injure the opponent. It is produced as a toy, and as I know, since the mid 1990′s, the government is perfecting this technology, and soon we’ll walk through dead bodies with laser holes in them, and there will be everywhere in the streets the smell of the burnt ozone. Ok, this is a very pessimistic scenario, but the government is working on creating a gun which uses directed waves of electromagnetic energy, sent over long range, which makes target’s skin feel like on fire.
The little red colored cube in the device in the image was the equivalent of the CD and DVD, or even the SD card in our days. In the image we have one of McCoy’s medical devices. They kinda looked like cheap plastic tools, but they were funny and they kept the Star Trek universe alive.
Another interesting Star Trek gadget would be the computer tablet. Yes, it is funny, but this tablet has the shape of a smartphone, if you want the nowadays equivalent. We have a huge variety of tablet PC’s and palm devices, and the men and women of The Next Generation wanted for sure to hold in their hands some sleek and sexy devices.
Oh, yes, the holodeck, I think everybody is waiting for the creation of this cool gadget in our days. We are probably halfway there and it looking that soon we will be able to own a holodeck, and all of this thanks to more companies and researchers around the world. It would be nice to get into the holodeck and spend some time relaxing while simulating a quick flight in the Universe.
The wrist phone which appeared in the Start Trek movie seemed something surreal for those times, but now we have a pretty large variety of gadget watches, and they do even more than offering phone features: they allow you to access the Internet, they have GPS location services and they also allow you to manage a lot of your activity. I wrote in an older post about Gadget Watches, and you can take a look to see what other cool things a watch can do.
“Engage!” is one of the most well known line in the movie, and this was the signal for the teleporting device functioning. It won’t take long until we’ll be able to do the same thing as the characters in the movie did, as in being teleported from one place to another. Scientists already have done this with small amounts of matter, and the idea of such a device is in development. Keep working on those equations, because when I will use the teleporting device I will need both my hands!
In The Next Generation, there was a touchscreen for everything, and this is the situation now too. Almost every device has touchscreen, including the little iPhone. A lot of gadgets on the market are beginning to have this design, and to use this interface.
Even the general idea, of the spaceship travelling in the Universe might come true in the future, because all kind of space ships have been developed, and many bright minds of humanity are searching for means of traveling in space. Another interesting perspective would be travelling not only in space, but in time also.
Almost all the Star Trek gadgets mentioned here became reality, and the rest are still in work. This is the biggest proof of humanity’s progress and its hunger for new technologies. It is interesting that a lot of ideas, like Leonardo da Vinci’s flying machine, ideas who represented pure insanity in their times, became over time reality, and this shows that human mind has a great creativity, and that in time, all the crazy ideas of one time can become usual things for future times.
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