Star Trek's Influence On Technology
Science Fiction Becomes Reality
Many followers of the Star Trek franchise are well aware of the technologies introduced throughout the Original Series and its spin-offs and feature films. Some of those technologies are already in existence today with more of them on the way. There are two such technologies that people use in everyday life. One is the cell phone and the other is the personal desktop computer.
The telephone and the computer were large beasts in their infancy. Telephones used to take as much space as a standard photo frame. Computers used to fill entire rooms. Mobile phones were actually installed in automobiles and generally limited to the very wealthy. Today, mobile phones and computers are small enough to carry anywhere. Mobile phones are not just for the wealthy anymore. More people choose to use cell phone service as their main phone service, discontinuing what is now known as a landline.
The cell phone and personal computer are discussed in more detail here.
The Cell Phone
The first such technology discussed is the cellular telephone.
Cell phone inventor Martin Cooper demonstrated his newly invented device on April 3, 1973. His device used on that day was a squared box-like unit weighing a hefty 30 ounces. He has been interviewed by several websites, news organizations and other media outlets. He has stated that he got the idea for a portable communications device from watching Star Trek on television. He made several mobile calls during that demonstration showing the portabiliy and flexibility of his new device. Mr. Cooper spent the next ten years attempting to market his new device. Success came in 1983 when Motorola introduced the "DynaTAC" device weighing in at a modest 16 ounces.
Today, cellular telephones can weigh as little as three ounces.
References and Furthur Reading
- Martin Cooper - History of Cell Phone and Martin Cooper
One of my sources for information used in the Hub concerning Mr. Cooper.
- CELL PHONE INVENTION - Inspired by Captain Kirk
Another website I used as a source for my information concerning Mr. Cooper.
This is the third source for information used in this Hub. This website contains the quote from Mr. Haitani.
The Personal Desktop Computer
The second such technology brought to the public as an indirect result of Star Trek is the personal desktop computer.
During several episodes of the Star Trek series franchise, one of the main characters is seen utilizing a small screen mounted on a tabletop. Those units were voice-activated or very user-friendly. Today, many personal computers, including laptops and tablet pc's, have the voice-activated and touchscreen user interface.
On Star Trek, the desktop units were linked to the Enterprise's central computer. The internet and most major corporations utilize the same basic system of linking individual computers to a master central computer.
Even Palm-One, Inc. product design architect, Rob Haitani has been quoted as saying, "When I designed the UI (User Interface) for the Palm OS back in '93, my first sketches were influenced by the UI of the Enterprise bridge panels."
Other Hubs on the Subject
- Star Trek Replicator Technology Becomes Reality
On board Federation starships and in every single Federation domicile is installed what is known as a replicator. It's main purpose is to provide food, but in fantastical reality, it can make anything. The...
Other Star Trek Technology
The scanner Mr. Spock would use to locate life on the planet below the orbiting Enterprise is much like the GPS devices we use today. Both devices give specific details about an individual's exact location anywhere on the planet's surface.
The tricorder Dr. McCoy would use to scan patients for diagnoses is very much like the MRI and CAT scan devices physicians use today. Both devices scan the individual from outside the body and display results on a computer screen.
© 2010 Tammy L