Boldly going where no man has gone before, “Star Trek” took us to strange, new worlds and a utopian, technologically advanced future where gallivanting across the universe was all in a day’s work. This sharply-imagined world brought us a glimpse at what life would be like if we weren’t the center of the universe after all.
Along the way we got to meet some surprisingly sexy aliens, fluffy Tribbles, and an unending stream of nifty gadgets and inventions that made us as green as Captain Kirk’s one-time paramour with envy. Here are the top five things from “Star Trek” we wish were real right now.
1. The Transporter
Beam me up, already! Scotty’s little invention might just be the best thing ever thought of in the realm of transportation. Despite the initial fear of molecularly disbanding and losing something important along the way, the transporter could single-handedly make the world a kinder, gentler place.
Of course long-distance travel would be instantaneous, but this technological phenomenon would make a bigger difference in our regular, workaday lives. No more traffic jams or scary seatmates on the train. No more nasty emissions spoiling our air. No more huge reliance on fossil fuels. Can’t you imagine how much happier everyone would be if they got to sleep in just one more hour and didn’t have to fight the commuter battle on the way in to the office?
Forget the George Foreman Grill – I want a replicator. All you have to do is tell it what you want and it magically appears. And this gadget’s powers are not limited to food and beverages. You can also get that cute skirt replicated for you, a new toothbrush, or how about a last-minute gift for that special someone? And if replicators were accessible to everyone and certain items were off-limits like Big Macs and donuts, we just might be able to make a dent in that obesity epidemic – not to mention world hunger.
Family dinners would be easier to pull off on a regular basis and could be comprised of something more appetizing than Hamburger Helper. With the introduction of 3D printers, could this food and beverage genie be closer than we think? My only complaint would be if the synthehol made sipping a glass of red wine less enjoyable.
If you love getting lost in the fictional world of a book, movie or game then the holodeck would knock your socks off. Basically, if you can daydream it, you can experience it. From tropical vacations to solving mysteries alongside Sherlock Holmes, the crew of the Starship Enterprise definitely made use of this virtual vacation destination. But the holodeck could be used for more than rest and relaxation. Teachers could literally bring history to life for their students. Cultural sensitivity could be increased by ready access to people and places we wouldn’t otherwise encounter. Travel would be more safe because you wouldn’t have to take a plane, train or automobile to your destination. But I think we should probably just come clean and say we’d mostly use it to hang out with the likes of Obi Wan Kenobi or Harry Potter.
I’m talking about the fully-functional Lieutenant Commander android who won over our hearts with his unending curiosity about those things that make us inherently human. We could put the androids to work round the clock doing the types of jobs that make us complain about the long hours and hard work. Maybe road construction would get completed ahead of schedule (or completed, period). Instead of working overtime, we could take up a hobby, spend more time with our families or even volunteer to help make the world a better place.
While there are plenty of utilitarian uses for a magnificent creature like Data, I think the broader implication is to use androids this evolved to help alleviate loneliness for alienated segments of society like the aged and those poor souls who have a profile on every online dating website.
This hand-held device is able to tell you everything – all the way down to the molecular structure and how far away it is – about anything at which you point it. Whether you want to know what’s really in that disgusting “healthy” shake your roommate keeps pushing on you or you’re ready to finally get to the bottom of that mysterious rash, the tricorder will quickly and accurately tell you everything you need to know. No more reliance on Wikipedia or WebMD. Doctors could use tricorders to non-intrusively diagnose patients and people who are too claustrophobic for an MRI would no longer have to endure that closed-in torment.
What “Star Trek” invention do you wish you could use every day?
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