When you stop and think about it, today we have quite a bit of technology that was science fiction back in 1966. And in some ways, we’re actually a bit ahead of where Gene Roddenberry expected the human race to be in the 23rd Century.
Take, for example, the communicator. On Star Trek TOS (the original series), it only let one party talk to another. Essentially it was a voice-only mobile phone and nothing else. To get real functionality out of a hand-held device, Mr. Spock or Dr. McCoy needed to carry around a Tri-Corder. Those could play video, locate life signs, analyze air content, identify energy fields or diagnose injuries and illnesses (“He’s dead, Jim.”) While today’s smartphones may not be able measure a tachyon burst, along with contacting people anywhere in the world (or in orbit), they can do some of the things the Tri-Corder did … and a lot more. Plus, you don’t have to wear your smartphone strapped over your shoulder.
Have you ever seen or perhaps used a Bluetooth earpiece? On Star Trek TOS, Lt. Uhura had something like that sticking out of her ear as she monitored interstellar communications and chatter aboard the Enterprise. However, you may have noticed she always took her earpiece out before speaking to someone. By contrast, today’s Bluetooth devices can sit more comfortably above the outer ear. Give our real technology the win based on style points!
Now let’s compare language-translation capabilities. This is difficult, because wherever in the galaxy the TOS Enterprise went, the crew found all lifeforms speaking English. Later series (Deep Space Nine, The Next Generation) suggested a technological translation aid but details were half-hearted and sketchy. And though Google translation or other apps can be clunky and occasionally inaccurate, at least they offer a word for ‘kiss,’ whereas Captain Kirk always had to manually demonstrate.
Surprisingly, we also call it a draw between today’s artificial intelligence and what was portrayed on the original series Enterprise. The ship’s computer really wasn’t much better at comprehension than Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana. Nor could it work on more than at one thing at a time. Remember how the Enterprise computer once devoted the entirely of its processing capabilities into finding Pi to the last decimal?(How much memory does a simple calculator app take, anyway? Like 12k?) On the other hand, we still have Autocorrect, so …
Yes, we’re guilty of cherry-picking technology comparisons to pad our win column. We don’t have anti-matter warp drives for quickly traveling to distant stars, nor phasers or photon torpedoes (then again, scientists are still arguing the physics of an EM [electromagnetic] Drive). Perhaps most disappointing for business owners, transporter beams are not in our foreseeable future. But when it comes to the technology that is available, and that will make the best investment for your operation, you can turn to SynchroNet for guidance and implementation assistance and boldly go where your business has never gone before.