How Star Trek has shaped our technology and future

23 May 2012

You have probably watched Star Trek. Even if you don’t like it, I bet you’ve seen at least a few episodes of The Next Generation or a movie.

Regardless of you opinion on Star Trek, its cool to see that current technology was only Science-Fiction ten or twenty years ago.

Let’s start with a simple example - the Communicator. Press a button and talk to anyone wirelessly, wherever they are. Reminds you of that mobile phone you carry around all day, doesn’t it?

Well, if that doesn’t convince you, then check out the Vocera B3000 Communication Bagde

But there’s more. Are you afraid of needles? Wouldn’t it be totally cool if they didn’t have to stick metal tubes into your arm to give you meds? Well, the can! Enter SonoPrep (Sorry, their site appears to be down). It’ll weaking your sking in 15 seconds and you’re ready to receive meds. You won’t feel a thing.

Warp Speeds? Try Hyperdrive.

Cloaking devices? Got it

Phasers? Check

Medical Tricorder? Sure, we can

Transparent Aluminium? Yes, please

Okay, tractor beams then? Oh, yeah

A huge library where you can just play about any tune in history? Sweet mother of god, yes

Hand-Held devices that tell you your current location? We have those too

PADD’s? Oh, yes!

Warp Core’s and photon torpedo’s? We’d need Antimatter for that, so we’re getting there.

I must admit that I was quite surprised to find some of these things already exist in current technology! I wonder how long it will take before we build our first “USS Enterprise”.

Well, about 20 years.

Build the Enterprise has thought about building a huge, Enterprise like, star ship. It’s entirely feasable to built on in the next 20 years with proper funding (about half of what NASA got during its Apollo missions).

Theoretically the Enterprise could be ready in 20 years. It could then take you to Mars in 90 days. The moon would take you ‘only’ 3.

The future is now.

Note: Probably no one can tell if a specific technology or device was inspired by Star Trek or not. But it’s very fascinating to see that stuff that was once thought-up by Gene Roddenberry (and others) are already a reality.