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The Science of Star Trek


The TV shows of the ‘60s showcased the phenomenon of space travel to other galaxies. Explorers traveled using gigantic space ships to meet exotic alien life forms to satisfy their curiosities.

The world of Star Trek is set in a galaxy several hundred years into the future. While some of the technology portrayed on the show is still a little far fetched, a lot of these gadgets (which were once considered wildly futuristic) have found their place in today’s world.

Here are six examples of technology featured in the classic Star Trek series of the ‘60s that we now use in daily life.

Cell Phones
In 1966, Star Trek introduced the world to the Communicator, a mobile-type device which enabled the user to communicate with the USS Enterprise spaceship which orbited high above the planet they were exploring. At the time, when phones were still tacked to walls with wires, the Communicator was a really cool, futuristic idea. The Communicator could instantly connect distant crew members either in a different place on the planet, or on board the orbiting spaceship.

Today, most people have smart phones which are shaped a lot like The Communicator.

The Tablet
Paper had long become a thing of the past in the original Star Trek TV show. Instead of using paper, the producers of Star Trek imagined a world without paper, where all information was relayed and recorded with the use of a tablet-like device. They would read reports, books, floor plans and a variety of other information useful to their mission on it.

Today’s tablets are cheap and come in various sizes to suit everyone’s needs. Tablets were even introduced in smart schools a few years ago, removing the need for students to lug around heavy textbooks.

Smart Watches
Today, the original Star Trek has become more than a TV show. It has become a franchise, with merchandise, movie spin offs and even more TV shows. One of the upsides to the new franchise is the introduction of smart watches, which are worn by the characters as part of their standard attire.

These smart watches are now a common sight in the real world. With just a flick of the wrist, these watches can tell you the time, take your pulse and even send your location to a friend.

Bluetooth Earpieces
The original Communications Officer, Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, seemed constantly attached to her earpiece. It was through her earpiece that she received all kinds of information which would then be relayed to her crew members. This was the original purpose of the Star Trek earpiece, and today the Bluetooth earpiece has become a reality. It is a modern day device that has made communicating on the run a lot more convenient and simplified.

Though Lieutenant Nyota Uhura’s headset was imagined for the future, the device was likely spawned from the inspiration of the past. Telephone switchboard operators had been using hands-free headsets since the turn of the last century, long before Star Trek debuted in 1966.

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tacked – fastened or fixed into place.
producer – organisers of the show.

franchise – licensed to carry out a commercial activity.
merchandise – goods.
attire – one’s dress sense.
convenient – fitting in well.
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