Five Ways Star Trek Predicted the Future of Communication

Date posted: 10/25/19, 2:27 PM
Jazmin Siancas

Have you ever seen a commercial featuring a new electronic device or technology and thought, “Hold up—that looks a little too familiar”?

Your feeling of déjà vu is no coincidence. If you go back and watch a sci-fi TV episode from the ’60s era, you can clearly see innovative futuristic concepts of advanced science technology and communication. And even though those technologies were imagined over fifty years ago for the sake of entertainment, many of those brilliant ideas have become a reality today.

The iconic Star Trek, a 1966 science-fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry, is the perfect example of a show that foreshadowed future technological capabilities with surprising accuracy. Almost everyone knows the storyline and famous opener: “Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.” And if you’ve watched the show, you know that Star Trek certainly did boldly imagine what no man had dared to envision before. In fact, the series ignited a movement to research the show’s seemingly far-fetched technologies and gadgets—and the dream to bring to life such remarkable technology became a reality.

Here are some technological telecommunication advances Star Trek predicted:

Star Trek Communicator.jpg1. Cell Phones

A technology Star Trek was effective at predicting was the famous Communicator. We all know what that device has become today. You guessed it right—cell phone devices, a “must-have” revolutionary technology that enables us to communicate with entities beyond our reach. This wireless technology allows us to connect instantly in a fast-paced technological world.


2. Hands-Free Communication Devices

The crew members in Star Trek wore small badges on their chests known as QMx Voyager Communicator badges. When tapped, the badge would allow communication with anyone on starships, starbases, and planetary installations within seconds. These devices were hands-free, and voice-activated. Today, many hospital nurses are taking advantage of this same technology with wearable VoIP-based Hands-Free Communication Devices (HFCD), which allow medical staff to deliver faster critical care to bedside patients. Another medical technology inspired by Star Trek is the utilization of a mobile skin bioprinter. This device allows doctors to print a series of bi-layered skin cells directly into a wound to accelerate the healing process.

3. Video Conferencing Video Conferencing.jpg

In some episodes, we saw the captain or crew members cast a real-time video featuring sound. This communication concept was very advanced and sophisticated at that time. Many years later, businesses recognize this technology like video conferencing. The use of voice- and video-conferencing technology brought positive change to the way we perform business. By incorporating video-conferencing capabilities, businesses discovered new outreach opportunities. Innovative business-to-client connections changed the way we handle business. "Our species can only survive if we have obstacles to overcome. You remove those obstacles. Without them to strengthen us, we will weaken and die." - Captain James T. Kirk

4. Tablet Devices

Lady with a tablet.jpgEnterprise crew members managed daily tasks through the use of a hand-held tablet called the PADD (Personal Access Display Device). This device helped perform such operational duties as running mechanical diagnostics, entering notes, and initiating commands. Its similarity to today's Apple iPad is unmistakable. The PADD featured a touchscreen interface, and its geometry is almost identical to an iPad, including its corner radius, thickness, and overall rectangle shape. Today's tablets also offer such benefits as ease of mobility and connectivity. Its multi-functionality allows us to complete many work-related tasks regardless of location, and we can also utilize it for entertainment purposes such as downloading e-books, streaming movies, playing games, etc.


5. Voice Assistant

On Star Trek, Captain Kirk would speak to a “virtual assistant” and give it various commands, including redirecting the starship to a new space destination, activating a protection shield, or initiating crew teleportation from other ships or planets. Does this virtual assistant sound familiar? Today, we recognize this technology as a voice-interfacing assistant. Some examples include Apple’s Siri, Amazon Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, or Google Assistant. The use of voice communication brings unparalleled convenience to its users. Star Trek was quite remarkable at predicting the future of technology and pointing out the need for user-friendly, reliable telecommunication devices that increase user mobility. The franchise crafted a new generation of scientists and inventors who could now envision a new path. Today's advancements in modern telecommunication technology have directly impacted the way we communicate, forever changing our lives and expanding business opportunities to new levels.

To learn more about how TelWare can “beam” your business into the twenty-first century with access to mobile apps, video conferencing, hands-free communication, and multidevice flexibility, contact us at 800.637.3148 or—or visit our website at TelWare is a five-star cloud phone provider, with unified voice, data, and video solutions.


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