Top 10 Star Trek Gadgets That Exist In Real Life

Later this year, fans of the legendary science fiction television series Star Trek will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of its original broadcast.

With its optimistic view of a future that sees people of all races cooperating for the good of humanity, Star Trek was ahead of its time in many respects, and in the years since, subsequent stories within the franchise have gone further to predict the development of the human race.

In the years since its debut, Gene Roddenberry’s most famous work has gone on to inspire a wide variety of scientific breakthroughs and developments. Many of the gadgets and household technological marvels that are taken for granted now were initially popularized on Star Trek, and in many cases, inventors have looked directly to the show for inspiration on how to develop practical uses for new discoveries and inventions.

Here are 10 times that Star Trek predicted the technology of modern life:

10. UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR

In a show that deals with the difficulties and nuances of interactions between a variety of alien races, Star Trek needs a simple way of explaining away communication barriers. While in many instances aliens conveniently speak fluent English, other circumstances call for a universal translator: a device that can instantly listen to any language and output a second language for the user to understand.

While Google Translate has for many years been the butt of jokes surrounding automatic translation, many companies are making real headway in developing translation software that can not only cope with complex sentences, but can produce a translation instantaneously simply by listening to the speaker.

Versions of this software are available as smartphone apps, while more complex and sophisticated version of the technology have plenty of practical applications in embassies, airports, and other international areas around the world.


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