Thursday, September 6, 2012

Alien Evidence and Alien Contact, Is Star Trek Showing Us the Way?

Technology Today vs Star Trek of Yesterday

Star Trek first appeared on the scene in 1966, they had technology that we could only dream of, tablet computers, wireless headsets, stun guns and much more. Engineers are now saying that we have the capabilities to build a starship in the next 20 years.  If you consider that Star Trek has an impeccable track record then you can only wonder what is in store for mankind in the coming years. Are we in for extraterrestrial contact, membership in a federation of  other intelligent rational species. Is disclosure in the cards, are we working our way into this new reality. Only time will tell. 

For years, science  fiction writers have been a source of inspiration for real-life technological advances. As Jules Verne’s Nautilus, the famous submarine from his novel, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, served to motivate numerous inventors and scientists to further underwater exploration, so, apparently, has the Star Trek industry stirred creative juices. Today, we see abundant evidence that Kirk and his crew once ventured where almost everybody has now gone. Here are several examples of Star Trek technology we use today.

Large Flat Screen Television – A large flat screen monitor was constantly in use on the bridge of the starship Enterprise, not for entertainment purposes, but for strategic use. Prior to Star Trek, science fiction author Ray Bradbury made use of huge screens in his famous novel, Fahrenheit 451. Now, of course, we take big screens for granted.

Wireless Headsets – On Star Trek, Uhura, Spock and Chekhov often wore wireless headsets, comparable to today’s Blue-Tooth technology.

Hypospray – The hypospray was a needle-free device that could subcutaneously inject drugs using forced air. Now, though not yet in widespread use, forced nitrogen and forced liquids help deliver medications that fight migraines, and high-risk diseases such as hepatitis and HIV infections.

Tri-corder – The Tricorder Mark 1 (developed at the Univ of Arizona) is, for all practical purposes, nearly identical to the device that we see in Star Trek, with the possible exception of being unable to reliably distinguish a Klingon from a Romulan. It's a self-contained, portable sensor system that can measure ambient temperature, humidity, air pressure, magnetic fields, surface temperatures, colors, ambient light level, ambient polarization, acceleration, direction, distance (ultrasonically), and of course it has a GPS receiver.

Tablet Computers – Kirk was often seen, using a stylus and a small computer pad , signing commands and instructions. We watched crew members read mail and watch video on tablets that are the iPads and Kindles that many people own today.  Tablet computers and smart-phones are popular items now used world-wide. The crew members of the 

Teleportation – is by no means science fiction. Physicists have been teleporting photons since 1997 and the technique is now standard in optics laboratories all over the world. The phenomenon that makes this possible is known as quantum entanglement, the deep and mysterious link that occurs when two quantum objects share the same existence and yet are separated in space.

Biometrics – Voice-, palm-, and retinal-scanners were utilized in numerous episodes, and now we use this technology for a variety of purposes. Modern forensics would be lost without these scanners.

Stun Gun or Taser - The technology was developed in 1969 and perfected and brought to the market in 1974. If you have only seen one episode of star trek you heard the words "set you tasers to stun." This technology is employed by security forces and police worldwide, 

Communicators – Kirk and crew were frequently spotted using small hand held devices that they simply flipped open, and spoke into, communicating with other members of the crew. Rare, now, is the day we aren’t annoyed by a swerving driver who is paying more attention to his cell phone than to the road ahead.

Venus Drug – An illegal chemical substance possessed by intergalactic ne’er-do-well Harcourt Fenton Mudd, which contained properties that would make women more physically attractive. Although Mudd’s nefarious plans were thwarted by Kirk, who was able to show that beauty was more than skin-deep, much of today’s cosmetic science is devoted to the enhancement of perceived physical beauty.

This is just a sampling of the way life has come to imitate art. If this continues into the future then we are in for some of the most life amazing changes that mankind has ever experienced.

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