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Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Future—Today!

We watched the pilot episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" this week. Made in the year 1987 and set in the year 2364, I felt it held up quite well, allowing for some shaky characterisation that you might expect in a first episode. One bit made me laugh though. Commander Riker stops a crewman to ask if he knows where Data is. The crewman takes pleasure in showing him how you can tap a huge panel on the wall and then ask the ship's computer to tell you Data's location. It even displayed moving lights to point you in the right direction.

27 years ago the show's writers thought that this would be cutting edge technology in the late 24th century. Today millions of people have got the same technology sitting in their pockets. Out by three and a half centuries!

We haven't got holodecks yet, but VR headsets are starting to make a real impact, while 3D printers are clearly replicators in the making (no pun intended). Even more than when we were sending rockets to the moon, it feels like I'm living in the Future.

Guess it will still be a few years though before I can tell a kettle to make me a cup of "Tea. Earl Grey. Hot".