Which of us didn’t point to the flip-open communicators on Star Trek and dream of the day when communication would work as easily as the flip of a wrist and the push of a button? “One day, we’ll have those,” we said – and then, we did. With the 50 year anniversary of Star Trek falling in 2016, let’s look at the many ways technology from the world of sci-fi now exists in the real world!
The genre of science fiction has always had a hand in predicting the future. Jules Verne envisioned the submarine, and from there it was all uphill – and into the stars. The fan favorite Star Trek – The Original Series celebrates 50 years of sci-fi this year, and fans are at conventions in October across the US and even the UK lining up to gawk at all the tech from then and now.
Home automation has made huge strides in the past few years, and many would say that some homes are almost as futuristic as the bridge of the Enterprise. This technology starts with computers that are small enough to carry with you everywhere – similar to the PADD of Star Trek fame. We all remember how pretty space cadets were always handing Kirk something to ‘sign off on’; now, Apple, Android, and Windows tablets make interfacing with your home security system a snap.
Biometric scanning lets you set your home to respond to you via voiceprint, handprint, fingerprint – or even retinal scan. The Wrath of Khan featured eye based biometrics two years before the first retinal scanner went on the market, and palm print enabled door hatches were a regular occurrence.
You can gain access to your own home via fingerprint with the handy gadget above.
Sadly, the sliding doors, which are now a staple at stores and malls, never quite caught on for home use. Some companies are trying to change that:
Ambient home computing system “Ubi” also provides a Trek like experience, letting you control your lights and thermostat with a voice command. Unfortunately “Lights, ten percent” isn’t yet available.
Even if you aren’t a ‘Trekkie’, you can’t help but be grudgingly impressed by the spot on accuracy of some of the Enterprise style tech!