TV legend and the one and only Leonard Nimoy passed away recently, which hit the entertainment industry and Star Trek community pretty hard. He has been in numerous shows and movies, including the 2009’s Star Trek movie and the sequel. He was in tons of TV shows too, such as Fringe, The Big Bang Theory & the show that made him forever Spock, the original Star Trek. I came across an interesting article on CNN Money and had an article that talked about the techno gizmos that were featured on the show, but actually exist today in our reality. Talk about life imitating art. Let’s have a look at some Star Trek technologies that exist today.
You’ll see them on trains and buses. You’ll see them in coffee shops & university classes. They’re everywhere. The tablet is the product darling of the computing world and everyone knows it. They’re mobile, lightweight and versatile. With a touchscreen interface, manufacturers from Apple and Asus, to Samsung and others are raking in the profits. This product is not going away anytime soon. And many love the product, whether its for work or play, you can’t deny it has a certain allure about it.
I put my hands up. I didn’t know this even existed (nice to know all that work at university paid off ) *sarcasm*. But this is a clever piece of manufacture is commonly known as ‘ALON’, produced by Surmet.
Who run the world? Computers. With behemoth companies ranging from Microsoft & IBM to Apple & Samsung, the computer is king. From desktops to laptops, from even tablets to mobile phones, all these technologies are computers, in some shape and form. Computers have become such an integrated part of our daily lives that we’d be seriously screwed if an massive EMP attack ever happened (as my colleague likes to comically remind me). Star Trek is without a doubt one of the most prophetic TV shows ever.
You’ll see these everywhere in the hand of a person perhaps every 10 seconds. The mobile phone has been around as early as 1973, officially going commercial in 1983. The handheld technology has changed in size, shape and functions and has managed to reach every corner of the globe, whilst filtering through down to the bottom of the economic pyramid. From voice calls & instant messaging, to mobile internet and GPS, the mobile phone has forever changed the ways of the human race. For better and worst. Imagine your life with a mobile? Could you go even 24 hours without touching it? Amazing how such a small piece of packed tech can create such a web of interconnectivity.
Large display screens that are largely used nowadays for telecommunication and visual display. Whether you having a video conference call with abroad clients or smashing out Destiny on the PS4, the term ‘the bigger, the better’ resounds loudly when it comes to screen technology. And don’t get me started on high definition.
These things are everywhere, from supermarkets to offices. Whether the show actually inspired the creation of the automatic door I’m not entirely sure but it does make a little bit easier having these around. That is until you walk right into one. Ouch.
In the Star Trek universe, these were used to check vital signs. Today these are the real deal and go by different names. You have the ‘Scanadu’ which is a tiny sensor device that reads a person’s vitals just by simply placing the device on their forehead. The little device can read body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels and even give you a full ECG reading. Other medical ‘tricoders’ on the market include the Q-POC (looks for viral infections) by QuantuMDx Group and an disease analysis device by Ibis Biosciences.
To infinity and beyond! Buzz Lightyear’s words have been taken to heart by many space enthusiasts, astronomers and scientists. From the moon landing, to the Mars rover, mankind has been trying to go that step further in space exploration. Virgin Galactic are betting big bucks on their biggest ambition project, which is commercial space travel. Founded in 2004, Virgin were hoping to get the first journey underway in 2009, but do to complications the maiden voyage date has been extended. When to? Don’t have a clue, but I can tell you each ticket costs about $250,000. Dayummm son. There are other space travel programs well underway, include the criticised, ‘non-for-profit’ Mars One project, set to send four people at a time on a one-way trip to Mars.
An medical alternative to needle injections. The Hypospray in Star Trek would spray the contents onto the recipient’s skin, absorbing the contents straight into the bloodstream. The reality of this fantasy is in the form of a Jet Injector, which uses a high powered jet to force injection liquid into the body. This can be done either with compressed air or gas for the injection to work effectively. Very handy when used for mass injections.
We live in a day and age where interpretation and translation doesn’t have to be as time consuming and problematic as it once was. Whether its Skype, the BOLT or Google Translate, we no longer have to fear language barriers and can effectively break through them (or at least go around them). Star Trek technologies at its finest.