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The iPhone, The Future and Star Trek.

I’m not a trekkie by any stretch of the imagination, in fact i’m barely interested in the various modern interpretations of Star Trek. But sadly I am rather fond the 1960’s TV series.

There are a number of Rumors going around the internet stating that a modified version of the iPhone will be used as the communicator in the new Star Trek film. Great!..oh actually, not so great.

Almost 20 years ago, I was at Art College spending half of my time having fun and the other half working hard for a degree in three dimensional product design. Towards the end of the course we were given a year to write our thesis. I needed a year and a day… Anyway I wrote about the relationship between product development in the real world and in science fiction and to what degree they effect each other. The conclusion I came to was that science fiction is the place where we first get to put our dreams into practice. It’s where we do what can’t yet be done. It is obvious then that these pursuits eventually filter through into reality. The trick though, must be to think laterally when it comes to designing your future technology so as not to be restricted by what exists now.
When you consider that the original TV series was set in the 23rd century, the iPhone or the iPod touch seem to have out run the dream in quite a dramatic way. The original series of the 1960’s sported the famous communicators. These could of course be seen as a forerunner for the mobile phone. The iPhone however is a communicator, but also takes all those other portable trekkie devices and technologies and puts them into a slim, highly versatile do everything machine. Ok, well it can’t detect life signs or give you a full medical diagnosis. Thinking about it, it can’t even cut and paste (at the time of writing), but you know what I mean. It can provide its user with a wealth of information, pinpoint your location, provide you with detailed star maps, work out mathematical problems and so on. Our ideas of the future seem to be getting closer and closer to the present. The iPhone feels like a futuristic device, but of course its not.
I really love the iPod touch and iPhone, and I would get a little flicker of joy to see it being used in the new Star Trek film. However I would hope that for the sake of the film and our future creative and technical goals, the creators of today’s science fiction could be a bit more creative than to use a device that exists in the present.
Perhaps it is just a rumor.
If you really want to downgrade your iTouch or phone to the 60’s vision of the future you could try some of these apps..
Kirk’s Communicator – iMake Apps (iTunes link)
Turn your iPhone into captain Kirk’s communicator.
TR-580 Mark III Star Trek Tricorder – Matthias Schorer
Scan the environment of the strange planet you have just beamed down to.
Set your iphone to stun or kill mode and fire away.
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