User:EEMIV/Star Trek's influence on science and technology
Star Trek has had a significant influence on science and technology. The franchise's depiction of science and technology have inspired viewers to enter related fields, while Star Trek's devices and ideas have inspired actual products and theories. Additionally, references to the franchise's fictional technology are sometimes used to explain a scientific or technological advance in the real world.
The Star Trek franchise is "a paradise of computers", and computers are what make Star Trek seem futuristic. David Pogue said Star Trek presents the "ideal" of accurate conversational computers, and technology professionals have hoped to turn into reality Star Trek's depiction of a spoken natural-language computer interface. Additionally, Star Trek scenic art supervisor Mike Okuda said Star Trek 's interchangeable data chips presaged USB flash drives.
Google developers and staffers have compared its products and goals to the computers depicted in Star Trek. In 2010, a Google spokesman told Slate 's Farhad Manjoo that it considered its Android devices a combination of Star Trek's tricorder and computer system. Two years later, a Google director of product management told Manjoo the "Star Trek computer" is Google's "roadmap" for developing its search product. In March 2013, Amit Singhal, who headed Google's search rankings team, told the reporter that Google's search product was "destin[ed] ... to become that Star Trek computer". According to Singhal, Google developers internally refer to Star Trek computers' capabilities and the way characters interact with them. Singhal said the Star Trek computer is "the perfect search engine" because it understands natural language and anticipates users' needs. Singhal also said Google looks to Star Trek for inspiration regarding ubiquitous computing. Anand Lal Shimpi said the Xbox One's voice recognition was "not bad", but also not as robust as that of the computer in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Smaller tablet computers such as the iPad Mini, Kindle Fire, and Nexus 7 have been compared with the handheld Personal Access and Display Devices (PADD) introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation. In addition to their comparable 7-inch (180 mm) sizes, users' increasing perception that they "can take a beating" makes them similar to the rugged PADD seen in Star Trek. Star Trek visual effects artist Doug Drexler, comparing the original iPad to the PADD, called the former "the true Star Trek dream".
A United States military intelligence center, designed in consultation with a Hollywood set designer and reminiscent of the Enterprise bridge, evoked Star Trek. One military officer said the chair in the center in the room was called "the Captain Kirk chair", and another officer responsible for dignitary visits said members of Congress of other guests "wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard".
Quantum physicist Andreas Wallraff told National Geographic that people think of Star Trek when they hear references to quantum teleportation. He explained that in Star Trek, people disappear from one place and reappear in another without physically traveling the distance; in quantum teleportation, quantum information in one place disappears and instantaneously reappears in another place. NASA said they "don't have a clue" about how to build a transporter similar to the kind depicted in Star Trek.
Star Trek 's popularity led to a successful letter-writing campaign to have America's first space shuttle to be named Enterprise in honor of the television vessel. A University of Iowa physics professor told The New York Times that the Voyager 1 probe's departure from the solar system was "'Star Trek' stuff, for sure."
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- Manjoo, Farhad (April 11, 2013). "Where No Search Engine Has Gone Before". Slate. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
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- Lal Shimpi, Anand (November 20, 2013). "The Xbox One - Mini Review & Comparison to Xbox 360/PS4". AnandTech. Anand Lal Shimpi. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- Foresman, Chris (August 9, 2010). "How Star Trek artists imagined the iPad… 23 years ago". Ars Technica. Condé Nast Digital. p. 1. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
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- Kramer, Melody (August 14, 2013). "Teleportation: Behind the Science of Quantum Computing". National Geographic. National Geographic Society. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
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“I don’t know if it’s in the same league as landing on the moon, but it’s right up there — ‘Star Trek’ stuff, for sure,” said Donald A. Gurnett, a physics professor at the University of Iowa and the co-author of a paper published Thursday in the journal Science about Voyager’s feat. “I mean, consider the distance. It’s hard even for scientists to comprehend.”
- Shatner, William; Chip Walter (August 1, 2002). I'm Working on That: A Trek From Science Fiction to Science Fact. Pocket Books.