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Star Trek's Design Influence On Palm, New Tech

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the dust-puppies-and-tribbles dept.

Sci-Fi 418

kevcol writes "The San Francisco Chronicle has a fun article describing how many of the inventions of Star Trek have made early appearances, 2 centuries ahead of Captain Kirk's time. They talk with one of Palm's UI designers, who admits that '...my first sketches were influenced by the UI of the Enterprise bridge panels', and also notes: 'When we designed the first Treo... it had a form factor similar to the communicators in the original series. It had a speakerphone mode so you could stand there and talk into it like Capt. Kirk'."

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missed this one? (5, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572747)


What about the medical monitoring equipment McCoy had in his sick bay?

It could track heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, etc. I don't think those devices existed before Star Trek hit the air. Granted we don't have the "no-contact" versions yet (and I stress "yet") but we still have a few hundred years to perfect it.

Then why? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572785)

Isn't there a ST communicator-styled cell phone avaliable yet? It seems to me we have the miniaturization tech to produce a really cool and obvious product.

Re:Then why? (2, Informative)

Jexx Dragon (733193) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573064)

Yep, my dad has one. Well, its a phone with a "walkie-talkie" mode.

Re:missed this one? (5, Informative)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572813)

Temperature and heart rate should be easy - infrared pyrometers are used in industry to measure, with accuracy, the temperature of a surface, no reason it shouldn't work to point it at a person & get a number. Heart rate - several optical ways, no problem, or a directional microphone and appropraite sound processing - again, nothing too complicated.

Blood pressure, though...since BP is measured by finding the two points where (1) the pressure in the cuff blocks all flow, and (2) the pressure in the cuff blocks no flow, I can't see an easy way to get that without actually blocking and unblocking said flow.

Non-inavsive blood pressure systems work by "listening" to the pulse with a pressure transducer & working some fairly mundane math to get the numbers, but I just can't see a way to find out how much pressure it takes to occlude a blood vessel without...occluding that blood vessel.

Re:missed this one? (2, Insightful)

wwwrun (633859) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573087)

Remember SARS? In East Asia (and maybe Canada - I don't know) they used infrared imagers to scan passengers boarding planes for symptoms of fever.

Re:missed this one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572850)

What about the medical monitoring equipment McCoy had in his sick bay?

Better yet, how about springboarding off Space 1999. It would be cool to have one of those TV comlink thingies. Of course in that case, we are a little behind the show's technology.

Re:missed this one? (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572878)

Space:1999 was too far fetched. I mean.. a space station on the moon a FULL YEAR before we were able to buy flying cars here on Earth? That's crazy talk!

Re:missed this one? (2, Interesting)

dnahelix (598670) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572993)

I remember reading about a device that uses sonar and radar to read heart rate, breathing rate, body temperature and a few other things via a no contact scan. It was developed mainly for burn victims. The cost of tens of thousands of dollars per unit made it cost prohibitive for non necessary uses. I tried doing a quick search but didn't find anything (and I'm supposed to be working) Does any else know about this device?

Orgasmatron (5, Funny)

meehawl (73285) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572751)

I wish they'd work on some of the innovations in Woody Allen's scifi movie Sleeper. I want my own Orgasmatron!

Re:Orgasmatron (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572883)

http://www.skfriends.com/orgasm-machine.htm

Re:Orgasmatron (4, Funny)

shystershep (643874) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572915)

It's attached to your wrist.

Re:Orgasmatron (0, Offtopic)

WeaverBen (762108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573062)

10 kinds: Those who can count in binary, and those who can't.

Re:Orgasmatron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8573112)

That's only two you idiot.

Hmmmm (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572753)

When are those panels of randomly blinking lights going to make it on the market? I have been waiting some time.

Re:Hmmmm (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572828)

Microsoft Bob was a dismal failure.

Re:Hmmmm (5, Funny)

Mateito (746185) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572975)

| When are those panels of randomly blinking
| lights going to make it on the market?

You've never tried to diagnose a 3COM Switch network, have you?

Re:Hmmmm (1)

irregular_hero (444800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573033)

I think you might be able to take your pick from Thinkgeek [thinkgeek.com] today, if you're so inclined.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573116)

OK, it's not the panels, but there's software you can use with your computer that simulates the entire functionality of the blinkenlights.

http://www.microsoft.com

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8573121)

All I want is an infinite improbability engine.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

cft_128 (650084) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573131)

Thinking Machines supercomputers had that. A light for each CPU blinking on and off. Useful in a macroscopic way I would guess as a measure of load, but I'm not sure how useful it actually was.

I'm just not ready (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572755)

To live in a house without a bathroom.

Re:I'm just not ready (5, Funny)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572799)

To live in a house without a bathroom

Don't worry.

Where do you think all those Captain's "logs" go?

Re:I'm just not ready (-1)

tntguy (516721) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572816)

Mr. 30th, you are hereby relieved of duty.

Re:I'm just not ready (5, Funny)

Gzip Christ (683175) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573002)

Where do you think all those Captain's "logs" go?
Generally speaking, the same place as his Number One.

Re:I'm just not ready (1)

kid-noodle (669957) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573053)

Actually it should be pointed out that there is at least one bath on the Enterprise, and one toilet. Right at the bottom of the ship. But that's the TNG Enterprise of course.

And I'm recalling that based on a brief showing of a plan of the ship, on a documentary on Star Trek...

OMFG WHEN DO I GET TEH LITESAVER THEN?!!`1 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572768)

Beam me up scotty! (3, Funny)

xot (663131) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572769)

Palm probably has an easter egg which is a pre recorded message that says "Beam me up Scotty", a feature that capt kirk could have used in his days!! :-)

Re:Beam me up scotty! (4, Interesting)

HexRei (515117) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572841)

Actually, IIRC Kirk never said that in ST:TOS. He almost always said something like "Two to beam up".

Re:Beam me up scotty! (3, Informative)

Mateito (746185) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573037)

However, he DID say it in "Star Trek 4: The
Voyage Home"... which of course in an even numbered movie.

Re:Beam me up scotty! (1, Informative)

brucmack (572780) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573041)

Well, technically Kirk never said anything in ST:TOS. When he was speaking, it wasn't called Star Trek: The Original Series, was it? :)

Speaking of medical tech (4, Informative)

detritus` (32392) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572772)

The needle-less shots McCoy would give for every little thing are not that far off either, DMSO is a popular one that's used for horses, but you wouldnt want that one used on yourself unless you love the taste/smell of dead fish...

Re:Speaking of medical tech (5, Informative)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572852)


They already have units that blast the medicine/vaccine through the skin at high pressure. They're mainly used when they have to process a lot of people in a short time.

Re:Speaking of medical tech (2, Informative)

WeaverBen (762108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573081)

Don't forget patches for nicotine, estrogen, etc., etc.

Re:Speaking of medical tech (1)

JudgeFurious (455868) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573098)

And if you move you're in a small world of pain so be very still when you get one of those. I also recall that they're either completely painless or hurt like hell but I can't really tell you why that's the case. I just chalked it up to skill of the person giving the shot but maybe I twitched a little or something.

horrible (5, Insightful)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572782)

The UI of star trek (at least TNG and onwards) has been horrible. A bunch of numbered buttons with lines going in virtually random directions to displays of other grouped buttons that don't seem to make any sense as to why they are grouped... They look pretty, but there is no way someone would lay out an interface like that and use it daily...

Don't take my word for it, do some googling for actual set shots of the UI... it's upsettingly poorly designed.

Re:horrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572805)

No kidding. And why would Picard have to say "Data, set course and speed..blah, blah, blah" when all he has to do is s/Data/Computer/?

Re:horrible (4, Interesting)

DR SoB (749180) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572812)

That's what they said when calculators, telephones, type-writers, etc. were invented. Maybe once you learn to use them they make sense?! i.e. the big red button on the top of the TV remote looks like it is random, but when you know it's the POWER button it seems to make more sense..

Re:horrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572849)

Yeah, the original series had a great UI. The rows of light bulbs and that cool spiraltron that Spock used.

Re:horrible (4, Interesting)

jhoger (519683) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572934)

On the contrary it seems a heck of a lot more functional than typical desktop GUIs...

Every window opened full screen, important messages in large readable text, it has a very interactive feel. It gives the impression of an adaptable, efficient two dimensional interface for communicating with an embedded system. The Lines clearly delineate portions of the display of interest, the text is large enough to be seen and pressed with fingers, etc... they did put thought into the general look and feel and I think Okuda did a great job.

But generally you should just think of them as props, they in general aren't meant to be looked at up close so don't be too "upset."

Re:horrible (5, Interesting)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573065)

That brings up an interesting thought. Perhaps if interfaces were designed to be intelligible on TV, they'd be more usable in reality, too.

Think about it. People watching the show may not know anything about computers, but they still had to understand the occasional piece of information that was important to the plot. (One good example would be when Dr. Crusher was caught in her son's experimental warp bubble. She didn't know where she really was until she saw (and the viewer) saw a picture of the "nature of the universe" and recognized it as something she (and the viewer) saw on one of Wesley's screens in Engineering.

That kind of driving force behind usability would probably be benificial to general use of computers.

Personally, though, I prefer {NeXT|OPEN}Step, GTK, or QT.

Re:horrible (2, Interesting)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572944)

Very few of the buttons from LCARS (and whatever the Cardassian system was on DS9...heh. It was funny when they tried to install a new system. Security system went berzerk.) were labeled. At best, they were color-coded.

I assume that Starfleet training included using the interfaces. However, I do wonder about the three-dimensional interface mentioned by Jahdzia in the episode where Sisko's stuck bouncing through time connected to his son, and about the Dominion command interface.

If you think about it, LCARS was horrible, unless your goal was unusability. In one of the TNG episodes, a child thought he caused the destruction of most of his ship by falling on one of the consoles.

I did notice that non-Federation people rarely had any difficulty figuring out the computer systems. Even in Voyager, guests didn't have much of a problem using the systems. (Except for the occasional surprise at a holo-doctor.)

Re:horrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8573035)

jesus, where's the shatner SNL skit when you need it

Re:horrible (4, Interesting)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572956)

Think of modern keyboard layouts: qwerty doesnt make a damned bit of sense to someone who's never used a keyboard, and often causes people to "Peck type". But once you learn the system, you can type tens-hundreds of words per minute. It's all about learning and repetition. In fact, I actually see how some of the Enterprise-D's panels work, they actually make a lot of sense of the buttons you can read, and of what you can't read, most of the time it's voice control anyways, unless you're an android or acceptionally good at entering in long keyboard commands.

Think of Palm Pilots language, then compare it to QWERTY.. you'll find that "a bunch of squigly lines not even laid out in the same direction" can be most useful...

Re:horrible (2, Interesting)

epiphani (254981) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572970)

TNG's interface was far better than TOS. Those bridge panels are all all totally configurable to your choice. They arent static buttons - they're basically touchscreens.

You know that little laptop-like thing that Picard keeps on his desk? Watch how he uses it sometime. There is one button on it - to turn it on. He turns it on, then just hits the screen. Also, pull out the TNG technical manual sometime. They accually put a disturbing amount of thought into the design of their UI.

it's the personnel that are geniuses (1)

PollGuy (707987) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573105)

And yet, over and over again, our plucky crew members will beam onto a ship of a completely alien race they've never met before, walk up to a completely alien console that is completely unmarked and still know exactly how to use it, including correctly interpreting the monitor's output in a completely alien language they've never seen before.

And they always seem like hard-to-learn panels, too -- the kind where there are only four or five unmarked buttons, whose functions seem to change every time they are pushed, so that an entire range of functions can be carried out just by pressing them over and over again.

Man, I wish I could pick up new UIs that easy. Or maybe there is some sort of trans-galactic UI style recommendation to which every species subscribes, just in case this situation should come up.

i am still anxiously awaiting (2, Funny)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572791)

The Holodeck.

Re:i am still anxiously awaiting (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572880)


The Holodeck.


"Lets build an entertainment facility that tries to destroy/take over the ship on an almost weekly basis."

Good idea.

Re:i am still anxiously awaiting (0)

sndtech (738958) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572962)

aww c'mon. imagine a giant game of quake. a beowulf cluster of holodecks!

Re:i am still anxiously awaiting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8573028)

I think most /.ers would use a holodeck for more intimate activities involving Ms Portman.

Re:i am still anxiously awaiting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8573034)


aww c'mon. imagine a giant game of quake. a beowulf cluster of holodecks!


Oh yeah, it would be great fun ... right up to the point when the holodeck program takes over the ship's systems and starts blowing everything away in the real world.

Didn't you watch the show?

Re:i am still anxiously awaiting (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8573019)

"Lets build an entertainment facility that tries to destroy/take over the ship on an almost weekly basis."

A big company in Redmond is already on this project.

Holy motherfucking cock sucking shit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572796)

That's craptacular!!!!1

Star Trek? (3, Funny)

molafson (716807) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572800)

Star Trek? Screw that! Where's my flying car?

Eat your heart out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572857)

http://www.moller.com/

Re:Star Trek? (1)

ThogScully (589935) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572907)

Not here yet. Blame Holden [viewaskew.com]
-N

i hope (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572817)

no one gets inspired by the clothing though. I'm not quite ready to jump into tights yet.

Re:i hope (1)

Killswitch1968 (735908) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572974)

1 piece tights for the ladies, yowza.

Re:i hope (2, Funny)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573003)

I found it interesting that only Admirals were generally physically unfit. So why the hell aren't I an admiral right NOW?!

Re:i hope (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8573006)

just hope that the military uniforms don't follow futurama's Zapp Brannigan. He just seems to love Velour mini-skirt type outfits without underwear.

Re:i hope (1)

biobogonics (513416) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573015)

no one gets inspired by the clothing though. I'm not quite ready to jump into tights yet.

Actually, it was the (relative) lack of clothing in the original series that got people's attention.

But what about... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572819)

How's develpment on the transporter coming?

Re:But what about... (2, Funny)

doconnor (134648) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572961)

Still in theoretically impossible stage.

Teleportation - Electrons No Problem (4, Informative)

meehawl (73285) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572984)

How's develpment on the transporter coming?

Quantum teleportation [wikipedia.org] is progressing slowly. Teleporting electrons [aps.org] using quantum entanglment [wikipedia.org] has been done. Scaling it up to macroscopic sizes and massively superposed states is not trivial.

Re:But what about... (5, Funny)

jhoger (519683) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573017)

Fantastic! The only pacing item seems to be the Heisenberg Compensators... and some minor metaphysical issues, but other than that, good to go!

Re:But what about... (5, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573110)

I remember a "Technical Manual" book that tried to explain the science behind Star Trek:TNG-era devices. A footnote in the section of the book about transporters revealed that the answer that the writers gave whenever asked "How do the Heisenberg Compensators work?" was always "Very well, thank you."

Lapel phone? (4, Interesting)

Gunfighter (1944) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572821)

I always liked it when the Star Trek crew just brushed the emblem on their uniform and started talking.

Re:Lapel phone? (1)

jhoger (519683) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572972)

It obviously requires an artificial intelligence of some sort... somehow the device seems to anticipate who it is you want to talk to and establishes up a 1-1 link. Otherwise if everybody was on one partyline you can imagine the level of chatter. Perhaps the idea is the computer is always following the context of conversations, or it doesn't actually interrupt the person you are talking to until it collects enough context to decide.

With enough processing power I think that's how one would do it though...

I've asked that question online. (3, Insightful)

nlinecomputers (602059) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573114)

Back during my days before the internet was in wide use I was on GEnie. A lot of the staff on trek hung out there. Mike Okuda who did the graphic art of the show and helped write the tech manuals and technical writing guides told me in an oline clat that the computer was constantly ease dropping on everyone in order to tell if you were about to request a comm link.

Thus you had Picard saying to the ceiling "Picard to Bridge" and get an instant comm link with out having to touch anything. The only issue I had was there was never a pause. He would instantly say that and Riker or Data would instantly answer. Obviously in real life the computer would have had to record that request and play that on the bridge for whoever to hear an answer. A delay of a second or two should have always happened while the computer repeated the request and got an answer back.

Picard: "Picard to Bridge"
Computer on bridge: "Picard to Bridge"
Riker: "Riker here, sir."
Computer in Picard's quarters: "Riker here, sir."
Only at that point would the two way link be established.

Obviously from a TV point of view that realistic a use of comm links would have slowed down the show.

Re:Lapel phone? (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573073)

The interesting thing, however, is that those devices were too good to even be possible. How did the lapel button ever figure out that a communication "Picard to Crusher" would go to either the doctor or her son, since he dealt with both people on a daily basis... only a scriptwriter could route that correctly.

Re:Lapel phone? (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573111)

You could simulate the effect with a bluetooth headset (look for the Nextlink BlueSpoon 5G prototypes, they're about the right size). AFAIK there's nothing to say explicitly that the badges act alone, they could well provide a short range bluetooth-like signal to a tricorder (or mobile phone, your choice). Voice dialing could pick up the names too :-D

That's a great name (4, Funny)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572825)

I love that the last name of an astrophysicist mentioned in an article on Star Trek in Batchelor.

How telling is THAT? :)

Almost (-1, Offtopic)

RedA$$edMonkey (688732) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572854)

A device that interperets what my dog is saying to me in barkese is a far cry from a universal translator.

From the Go-woof-yourself dept [bowlingual...slator.com]

Wow (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572860)

$tv_series really shows what a visionary $creator was.

It is very logical (1, Funny)

amichalo (132545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572864)

(1) Extend arm 90 degrees in front of you
(2) Rotate palm side up
(3) Make the sign of a Vulcan

Viola! The first spork!

Flamebait? Offtopic? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572949)

Who the hell is moderating this discussion?

Remember... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572876)

This summer, when it gets hot outside, and your hemmoroids
are even hotter, just look to the cool relief of Preparation-H
to get you on your way.

The most important Star Trek innovation (5, Funny)

Aerion (705544) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572882)

I wish that in real life that whenever you met a minor character, an unimportant and insignificant person, probably annoying and/or ignorant, you could be sure that they were going to die within the next 60 minutes. That would make life much more enjoyable!

Missed LCARS phenomenom (5, Interesting)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572884)

and found examples of the ``Okudagrams'' since popularized on Star Trek: The Next Generation and later shows.

There're a fair number of programs using such an interface (even a couple of products licensed by Paramount such as ``Captain's Bridge'' a virtual tour of all the star ships), and even a project on Sourceforge to create a programming system and UI guide (look for LCARS, Library Computer Access and Retrieval System).

I've found such programs fairly useful on my pen slate and amenable to use w/o a keyboard....

Links:
http://www.lcarscom.net/
http://www.lca rs-terminal.net/
http://www.bennisoft.com/
http: //www.lcars-am.org/

William

Several episodes in original series AND TNG (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572911)

In episode 14.3, "Voyage to Gomor's star" the small, rectilinear object that Ohura uses on the salt monster looks EXACTLY like a Palm

Also, (I don't have my desk reference handy here) in the sixth season of TNG, Picard is talking with the Universal Translater guy about whether or not there are four or five lights and the device he brings out is basically an iPod. His recreation device is just like our favorite device today. And what, the sixth season broadcast in, like 1990, right?

There are several other examples that I can detail if you wish.

Re:Several episodes in original series AND TNG (1)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572963)

Your post reminded me of a Simpson's quote by Frink:

"Yes, over here, n'hey, n'hey. In episode BF12, you were battling barbarians while riding a winged Appaloosa, yet in the very next scene, my dear, you're clearly atop a winged Arabian. Please do explain it."

But yours was more geeky.

Re:Several episodes in original series AND TNG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572997)

Thanks...obviously I'm trying to be a troll.
By the way "Morph" is from Star Trek also where you first find Grallice and Womit.

Re:Several episodes in original series AND TNG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8573047)

The episode was with a Cardassian who was holding picard prisoner. The device wasnt a Universal Translator, it was a pain-inflicting device.

Its more analogus to a remote control rather than a PDA or iPod.

For the record, the episodes were "Chain of Command Par I and Chain of Command par II"

I dont know the stardates because I'm not THAT big of a nerd. (yet)

-n

Patents (2, Funny)

harumscarum (675595) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572916)

I am just waiting for the lawsuits.

Science or Fiction (5, Interesting)

Un0r1g1nal (711750) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572920)

A lot of items that have been created owe their innitial conception to some far sighted sci-fi writer, I remember with fondness a lot of the early analog's (My dad has been getting them for years) and reading some of the things they thought of, that to them were impossibilities. Yet we are starting to realise some of their dreams and make them realities. How long before our dreams become realities also? It's not something we can really place a time limitation on, but as we progress in general we get through technilogical barriers, and then make huge leaps forward. The joys of innovation.

And as a side note, lots of UI's appear difficult to use and understand, but if you understand them then it becomes easy. Take a look at the QWERTY keyboard for example. To a complete novice the keys are laid out in a random formation that does nothing to help them type. They want 'A' to be at the top and 'Z' to be at the bottom. But as they progress and learn about 'Home Keys' typing becomes a lot quicker and easier, just because a UI looks different, doesn't mean that with practice it wouldn't be a lot simpler and easier to use

Re:Science or Fiction (2, Informative)

cmburns69 (169686) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573092)

Don't forget that QWERTY was initially designed to slow down typists, due to the tendency of typewriters to jam if you typed too fast.

3-d chess (2, Interesting)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572935)

Blame me for not knowing about if it existed before the Star Trek TOS, but looks like [cnn.com] Spock's favorite game is quite popular [3dchessfederation.com]

Things from Star Trek universe I want to own - NOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572937)

Holodeck (Holo-orgies :-D)
Phasers (car mounted phasers would be sooo handy durring rush hr in the south US durring Spring break.. damn kids..)
transporters
The jet boots Spock wears when he saves Kirk from certain death at El capitan..

GO TO HELL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572938)

I touched my junk liberally. I strapped me in to my 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT and I couldnt keep my offensive hands off of myself. I was performing many red flag touches. I couldnt believe what the fuck was going on. I told myself the city would not approve of me pleasuring myself in public.

Can you believe it? I did all this. I picked myself off the street, strapped my arms and legs down in my 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT's passenger seat, and I just wouldn't stop fondling my cock'n'balls.

They definately were red flag touches. the goddamn referee I had in the back seat kept on raising up this red flag every time I touched my junk but did I care? NO WAY! I just kept on doing it. I couldn't believe what the fuck was going on, indeed. I pleaded with myself but to no avail. I told him the city would not approve of me touching an myself like me without at least letting the mayor in on it for the use of my body as his own personal plaything.

This got to me, worrying about my image. I continued to fondle myslef, all the while ignoring the referee's red flags. Then I drove the 1986 Pontiac Fiero GT to my house and *ejected the seat I was in*! It was amazing. But surprisingly, after I woke up the next morning, my bank account had $1000k more in it because I cashed my paycheck! Can you believe it?

handing out pdas (5, Funny)

bmidgley (148669) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572957)

I love how one start trek guy will hand his pda to another guy and say 'here's that report you asked for.'

So not only do they not have email, there's like one crewmember who's really bad at reading reports he's given... so his inbox is full of other peoples' pdas.

Re:handing out pdas (2, Insightful)

Cecil (37810) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573132)

The idea being that PADDs are about as ubiquitous as paper or floppy disks or burned CDs are nowadays. It's supposed to be like handing around a floppy disk that happens to have a touchscreen on it. No big loss. In fact you probably don't care if it gets returned, or even expect it to get returned.

It's a neat idea, and I would be surprised if it didn't happen in some form eventually.

The impact of Star Trek (4, Interesting)

master_p (608214) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572958)

The impact of Star Trek has been great. Star Trek is the best pseudo-science fiction TV and movie series ever. Of course, it can not be compared to true science fiction literature, which contains 100s of future inventions and gadgets. But for TV, it is the first.

Is anybody here old enough to share his/her impressions of the first Star Trek shown, back in '66 ? it would be like magic, back then. Today we consider cell phones, digital recording devices and palmtop computers as everyday reality, but back then, it must have been very jaw-dropping, to say the least.

Medical devices that McCoy use (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8572966)

Temperature and heart rate should be easy - infrared pyrometers are used in industry to measure, with accuracy, the temperature of a surface, no reason it shouldn't work to point it at a person & get a number. Heart rate - several optical ways, no problem, or a directional microphone and appropraite sound processing - again, nothing too complicated.

Blood pressure, though...since BP is measured by finding the two points where (1) the pressure in the cuff blocks all flow, and (2) the pressure in the cuff blocks no flow, I can't see an easy way to get that without actually blocking and unblocking said flow.

Non-inavsive blood pressure systems work by "listening" to the pulse with a pressure transducer & working some fairly mundane math to get the numbers, but I just can't see a way to find out how much pressure it takes to occlude a blood vessel without...occluding that blood vessel.

Trek Trio (5, Funny)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572990)

Yes, but.........the long pauses..........are not.......included.
Mr. Spock..........moderate this post...........to TROLL.

I'm guilty of this too (3, Interesting)

faust2097 (137829) | more than 10 years ago | (#8572998)

The ST:TNG computer interfaces are a great jumping-off point for a lot of designers. They were a good blend of rectangles and curved areas and they were funky without being over the top. In fact, one of the products I'm working on now has a slight similarity to it. The engineers all notice but for some reason none of the markeing people do.

Just like Capt. Kirk talked? (4, Funny)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573001)

It had a speakerphone mode so you could stand there and talk into it like Capt. Kirk.

You...

mean you...

could... speak...

into... it like...

this?

And call green...

women to...

see if they... would beam...

up... for a...

date?

STar Track stuff that is real now (-1)

AssTard (684911) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573054)

It's amazing I think how they had those blaster guns, and now, we have guns too. That's pretty cool.

Sonique (1)

Kiyooka (738862) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573069)

Sonique use to have a Star Trek skin (can't find it anymore). It had all the rounded-square coloured buttons and feel of the tv series. Very very well done.

Where the hell is my holosuite? (1)

ChaosDiscord (4913) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573078)

What I really want are holosuites. Why? Ummm, well, erm, so I can do Sherlock Holmes mysteries like Picard, yeah that's it. Certainly nothing else [aol.com] .

I want my Star Trek phone, dammit (4, Insightful)

DavidBrown (177261) | more than 10 years ago | (#8573118)

Seriously. I think I'd buy a new wireless phone in a heartbeat, if it was modeled after the classic trek communicator. I fail to understand why Paramount hasn't licensed this to Motorola yet.

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