How close is Star Trek tech from reality? Part 2

In 1966 Captain James T. Kirk and the Starship Enterprise began to boldly go where nobody has gone before. The show was groundbreaking. Not only was it a rare case where a Hollywood studio asked for a second pilot but its cast broke racial and gender barriers. Key to what the crew of the Enterprise could do was the technology that they used as they sought out new worlds and new civilizations. In 1966 it seemed so far ahead of its time but now 50+ years later how close are we to using what Mr. Spock or Dr. McCoy used?

Communication is the bedrock of society and the crew of the Enterprise used small hand-held communicators that were capable of speaking to people thousands of miles in the air. They were used to get the crew out of scrapes and saved their lives on multiple occasions. The device was activated when it was flipped open and used an antenna to transmit information. It sure sounds a lot like modern cellphones but especially like a flip phone. Perhaps the Nextel push-to-talk phones on the late 1990s were the closest things. Later devices got even smaller and more convenient and were worn on a crew member’s shirt. Vocera Communications has a product that does the exact same thing and weighs less than two ounces. Also today many people cannot live without their bluetooth earpieces. It allows them to stay in communication at all times while at the same time not disrupting what they were doing with their hands. The Enterprise’s communications officer Uhura used that exact same thing but called it more simply an earpiece.

The Enterprise was on a mission of peace and that meant that occasionally the doctor, whether it be Bones or Beverly Crusher would be called on to save someone’s life. At some point the common cold is eradicated in the future but that doesn’t mean that other diseases couldn’t run rampant and one thing that never fully changed was people’s aversion to the needle. Enter the hypospray which injected medication under the skin using air pressure. Sounds oh so futuristic but we have the jet injector, in fact the jet injector predates Star Trek by a century. It was used in much the same fashion as a way to inoculate large groups of people quickly.

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