Make It So: Star Trek Tech Becoming a Reality

Star Trek

When Gene Roddenberry created the television series Star Trek in 1966, the show’s futuristic technology seemed incredibly advanced. Fast forward almost 50 years and some of that technology is here already. Here’s a look at a few technologies helping us to live long and prosper:

Food replicators

When Enterprise crew members want to eat, their order instantly appears from the replicator. We’re almost there. Over the past several years, 3D printers have become more advanced, less costly and are already churning out chocolates, candy and other foods.


The flip cell phones of the 1990s were actually based on the portable transceiver devices that Captain Kirk would have used to ask Scotty beam him up. In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Starfleet personnel wore communicator badges on the chest instead of blue tooth devices in their ears. While worn on the wrist, the Apple Watch and other wearables gadgets provide much of the same functionality as Star Trek tech.

Universal translator

Communications officer Uhura would be amazed at the technology available today. Want to communicate with aliens? There are thousands of mobile apps on the market that provide language to language translation. Microsoft is working on a “near real-time” translation for its Skype users, called Skype Translator, and Google and other companies are working on similar technology.                  

Holograms and Holodeck/Holosuite

Star Trek showed us everything from interactive communication holograms to whole virtual worlds to explore (Remember the Sherlock Holmes, jazz club, and Vic Fontaine programs?). Well, the technology that can make that reality is already here. This year, Microsoft will release Hololens, and 3D touchable holograms are being tested for real life applications. While even more advanced technologies are in the works, already holographic images are being displayed at airports, stores and other public places.

So was Star Trek ahead of its time? Did it actually provide fodder for creative geniuses to mimic? Let us know what you think in the comments! And, in a tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy, “Live long and prosper.”


Tags: Star Trek