So where’s my flying car?
We are living in the future (duh, yeah…) but more importantly, things that we had hoped for in the past have come true. Let’s look at this.
Communicators from Star Trek, yes, we have them, they’re called hand held radios or cell phones. I know cordless phones were definitely not around when the Original Star Trek originally came out. People saw Kirk and Spock would pull out their communicator, flip the lid and instantly be connected to anyone they wanted to. They were even able to use them as locator devices, et al.
Now, we have phones on our wrists, in pens, in our pockets, even in our shoes (sort of).
Communicators were used by Starfleet landing parties and away teams; occasionally, communicators were used in situations where normal intra-ship communications were inaccessible (or inadvisable), during the 22nd and 23rd centuries. (TOS: “Mirror, Mirror“, et al.)
In some cases, these communicators served purposes beyond basic communication. By 2152, for example, the power signature of a Starfleet communicator could be amplified by an inverse carrier wave, making the communicator detectable by sensors. This method was used when, in 2152, fears among the crew of the NX-class starship Enterprise arose regarding how a communicator that Lieutenant Malcolm Reed had accidentally left behind on an inhabited planet might affect the evolution of a pre-warp culture on that planet. Reed’s communicator was retrieved, but not without avoiding cultural contamination partly caused by the device. (ENT: “The Communicator“) Communicators were also often used to allow transporter locks for beaming, thus acting as homing transponders. When used in tandem, two communicators could produce a sonic disruption by using sound beams to create a sympathetic vibration in an unstable object, such as a cliff face. Kirk and Spock used such a technique to ward off a party of angry Capellans on Capella IV in 2267. (TOS: “Friday’s Child“)
We had robots way back then, but not like we have today. There’s even robots that look and act like humans. They’re still distinguishable from the real deal, but before too much longer, I can see us having “Life Model Decoy’s” like S.H.I.E.L.D has.
A Life Model Decoy (or LMD for short) is a S.H.I.E.L.D.-designed robot that duplicates all outward aspects of a living person. The owner can see through, speak through, and control everything the Life Model Decoy does. Nick Fury’s Life Model Decoys are probably the most common in the Marvel Universe.
It is designed to function as an exact body double for VIPs. Their design is such that they mimic the subject’s outer appearance (i.e., fingerprints, hair, all details of the skin), speech patterns, scent, iris and retina patterns, body language, thought patterns (to fool telepaths), and any other biological indicators. Aside from any invasive procedure or strong EMP, they are indistinguishable from the original.
We’ve also got holograms that you can see using only your phone, or a pair of 3D goggles, superstructures that were never though possible, flying fortresses that put the B52 to shame.
Medical advancements are out of this world. Even 20 years ago, we didn’t have some of the prosthetic devices we do now. You can ‘print’ a new arm, leg, hand, foot, etc in a short amount of time in the comfort of your own home with a 3D Printer. Which by the way I believe is the precursor to the Star Trek replicator.
Although previous sci-fi writers had speculated about the development of “replicating” or “duplicating” technology, the term “replicator” was not itself used until Star Trek: The Next Generation. In simple terms, it was described as a 24th century advancement from the 23rd century “food synthesizer” seen in Star Trek: The Original Series. The mechanics of these devices were never clearly explained on that show, but the subsequent prequel series, Star Trek: Enterprise, featured a 22nd-century version referred to as a “protein resequencer.” Additionally, that ship had a “bio-matter resequencer” which was used to recycle waste product into usable material.
According to an academic thesis: “The so-called ‘replicators’ can reconstitute matter and produce everything that is needed out of pure energy, no matter whether food, medicaments, or spare parts are required.” A replicator can create any inanimate matter, as long as the desired molecular structure is on file, but it cannot create antimatter, dilithium, latinum, or a living organism of any kind; in the case of living organisms, non-canon works such as the Star Trek: the Next Generation Technical Manual state that, though the replicators use a form of transporter technology, it’s at such a low resolution that creating living tissue is a physical impossibility.
And while we’re at it, let’s talk about the holodeck (speaking in ST terms). With the Oculus Rift goggles and an Omni treadmill, we’ve got it. Sort of. It’s not hard light like in ST, but how much longer before it is? And I can see someone designing an entire floor based on the Omni.
The Rift uses custom tracking technology to provide ultra-low latency 360° head tracking, allowing you to seamlessly look around the virtual world just as you would in real life. Every subtle movement of your head is tracked in real time creating a natural and intuitive experience.
Catapulted into the gaming world by a Kickstarter campaign with more than 3,000 backers and more than one millions dollars, the Virtuix Omni™ is an immersive, first-of-its-kind gaming system that takes virtual reality to the next level— allowing anyone to stand up and traverse virtual worlds with the natural use of their own feet. Walking and running in virtual reality creates an unprecedented sense of immersion that cannot be experienced sitting down. The Omni transforms the gaming experience into a highly interactive, energetic battle royale between players fighting for virtual supremacy.
And beyond that there’s so much more. I’ll be doing a few followups to present more info for you. Stay tuned.
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~ by Normanomicon on December 10, 2014.
Posted in Comics, Computing, DIY, Electronics, Gear, Geek, Hacking, Internet, Media, Medical, military, Movies, Practical, Sci-Fi, Science, Technology, TV
Tags: 3d printing, cell phone, communicator, cordless phone, flying car, future, holo deck, holodeck, kirk, life model decoy, lmd, ng, oculus, oculus rift, omni, prosthetic, replicator, rift, s.h.i.e.l.d, shield, Smart Phone, Spock, Star Trek, the future, TOS, virtuix, virtuix omni, wikipedia