Admit it: the first time you saw what itâ??s like to play on a Holodeck â?? a fully virtual simulated environment â?? in the Star Trek series, you wanted to join Captains Kirk and Picard and boldly go where no one has gone before.
Thereâ??s something about the Star Trek universe that awakens our inner nerds, and itâ??s not only about the plot twists and the fun characters, but about the technology these characters use on a regular basis. So if youâ??ve ever thought it would be great to talk to your computer like it was a person, this article is for you: weâ??re going to tell you exactly which Star Trek technology is already here, is almost here, or is within viewing distance.
The PADD: an iPad in Disguise?
Frequent viewers of Star Trek: The Next Generation will likely recall the usage of PADD personal devices that essentially look and serve like iPads. When the first episodes depicting PADDs came out, they were viewed as future gadgets that looked nothing like modern computers. No more. Now, we have tablet computers that have all the functionality of PADD devices and more, allowing us access to books, video, messaging, video communication, and just about everything the Star Trek writers didnâ??t think of. The future is now when it comes to the PADD.
The Star Trek Computer
While our computers today are not quite as powerful as the computers on board the starship Enterprise, there is something that allows us to interact with our computers the same way Star Trek characters do: Siri. The voice-activated innovation on the iPhone 4 allows users to talk to their mobile phones almost the same way characters on Star Trek would. Although some would argue that Siri is still not up to the level of sophistication first explored in Star Trek, itâ??s only a matter of time before the technology catches up and we find ourselves talking to our phones more often than we talk through them.
â??Beam me up, Scottyâ? was one of the most famous repeated lines in the original Star Trek series; it turns out that teleportation really is possible, at least at the subatomic level. Scientists have been able to teleport information between atoms. Admittedly, this technology is not at the sophistication level we see in the Star Trek series â?? especially since a person contains a lot of atoms, and saving all of that information on a computer is a challenge considering modern hard drives â?? but that doesnâ??t mean transportation technology is completely out of the realm of possibility.
JORDY: Realityâ??s Equivalent to the VISOR
Remember Geordi La Forgeâ??s VISOR that allowed him to see despite being blind? The JORDY headset serves a similar purpose, enhancing the vision beyond the scope â?? pardon the pun â?? of mere glasses or goggles. Instead, JORDY allows people to zoom, enhance, change color â?? just about everything Geordi La Forge could do on Star Trek. One day, they may even design the JORDY to more resemble the VISOR, if only to have a little fun.
Here is a video of a similar device.
Michael â??Big Mikeâ? McCaffery loves reruns of Star Trek and writes for Go Dish, a company you can go here to look over various services tailored to your entertainment needs.