It’s true, believe it or not. The Star Trek movies were written with crystal balls and astrologers. How else would they have accurately predicted the advanced technology we have today without any means of reference? Oh well, maybe their imaginations were pretty darn good.
Time and again this movie franchise has provided glimpses and peeks of the future; the future we live in. It has inspired and foreshadowed many creations. Here are seven handpicked ones:
1. Star Trek (1966-1969): Communicators
Whenever Captain Kirk left his ship, he knew that danger was close. So he would whip out his communicator and make the calls he needed to in times of distress.
Well, the basic cellphone does exactly that, if not better. Dr. Martin Cooper, inventor of the first handheld cellphone does credit the communicator for his creation. Although we started off with “brick” phones, flip phones are close cousins to it, don’t you think?
2. The Star Trek Assistant
This little gadget could translate any language, answer any question and didn’t have to be taken out of your pocket. Rather, you would have boldly worn it around (okay well, if you’re a fashion freak, not so boldly).
If you still haven’t made the connection, The Star Trek Assistant is the ancestor of the Google Glass, of course!
Made to respond to questions and seamlessly include them into your daily conversations, the Google Glass has all the features of the Assistant. Too bad we can’t parade them around in cool spaceships.
These Personal Access Display Devices (PADDs) were hand-held computer interfaces making everything just a touch away. Of course, this one is undeniable, the iPad is almost the same entity in a different time period. Now we know where Steve Jobs got his inspiration from!
4. Food Replicators
Food replicators were machines that could make any dish that it was programmed to make and you would be savouring it within minutes. Most probably, this would make you gain fifty pounds but hey, the food replicator was one of its kind!
Although 3D printing is relatively new, 3D printing of edible food items, such as the ingredients for a pizza has become possible. Astronauts can have their favourite snack in space!
Certainly, our world today rapidly progresses with all the advances in technology. Maybe, one day we’d reach a stage where people would need to know how to program the food replicator than learning how to cook!
5. Flat screens
There was a time when televisions weren’t flat and HD didn’t mean anything. There was a time before that when there was no such thing as a television.
Somewhere between these two times, in the age of the famed box TV, Star Trek showed its wondrous flair of predictions and displayed the flat screen.
And let me tell you, this flat screen changed lives. Television has now become mandatory to get through with the day for most people.
Ever wanted to know what’s wrong with you instantly? (In terms of health, of course) The tricorder helped you do just that. It is a multifunction hand-held device used for sensor scanning, data analysis, and recording data.
Although, development is still underway, devices have been made to simulate the functions of the tricorder. The most recent one is called Smartphone 2015.
7. Video calling
Known as ‘Skyping’ nowadays, video calls were a farfetched fantasy when Star Trek was shot. To be inculcated as a feasible idea didn’t even cross people’s minds (or maybe it did, mind reading is not my strong point).
Nowadays, there are a whole bunch of apps to video call someone. Instead of visiting, we have started video chatting. Instead of seizing the moment, we capture it… with our cameras. Instead of being there for the people that actually do care for us, we engage in updating our statuses on all the zillion social networks to entertain the people who wouldn’t even spot us in a crowd.
Maybe it’s time we actually interact with the people right in front of us.
Our world is defined by the technology we use, we can’t live without it. Of course, Star Trek was decades ahead of its time, but it did a pretty good job in foretelling how dependent we would be on all sorts of technology.
Of course, the advancements we have made as a race in all walks of life are far greater than just commendable, but when did we forget what we are in the first place?
We’re breathing beings that empathize with one another rather than creatures that live off the praise we get from machines that can be destroyed.
Our lives have succumbed to be a place where fantasy has become reality and the reality is fantasy gone bizarre.
Let’s keep our phones down.