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12 Star Trek gadgets that became reality

Posted in Lists,Sci-Fi by Conner Flynn on January 29th, 2008

12 Star Trek gadgets that became reality
Like many Sci-Fi novels shows and movies, Star Trek showed us futuristic gadgets that at the time were complete Science fiction, but soon came to be a reality. Here’s a list of such technology, in no particular order.

These might be new to you if you have always been far to enamored with the women of Star Trek to notice the tech and gadgets. I don’t blame you, from Yeoman Rand to Tasha Yar, to Beverly Crusher and beyond, there’s some hot babes gallivanting around in the final frontier. Before we get so easily sidetracked, back to the theme. Star Trek gadgets and tech. Some you can own, some are in the works and some are just strange.


Cell Phones-One of the most prominent technological gadgets that the show envisioned was the cell phone in the form of a flip-open communicator. Ironically enough, Kirk and crew often were cut off from the ship for one reason or another, similar to having “no service” nowadays. Kirk was the man every time he flipped that baby open and asked to be beamed up.


The Phaser-This weapon has come to pass. But it’s not just toys and DIY projects. The government is perfecting this technology as I type this. Soon we will be lasering holes in each other and smelling burnt ozone and flesh. I imagine a stun setting is the hard part.

Storage via plastic wedge

Computer discs-That colored cube or rectangular pieces of plastic that Spock would put into his station console and get info from showed up not too long after, in the form of the computer disc, CD, and SD card to name a few. Storage on the go. Above is one of McCoy’s medical devices. These always looked like cheap plastic preschool toys, but they kept the Star Trek universe chugging along.

Star Trek PADD

Computer tablet-More info on the go. A whole wireless computer in your hand. Chalk up another hit for Trek. We have all kinds of tablet PC’s UMPCs and palm devices. The men and women of The Next Generation always had any info they needed easily on hand and the devices looked sleek and sexy.


The holodeck-Ok, this one’s not entirely here yet. It’s in the making. We are probably halfway there and it is looking like we can actually have a real holodeck very soon thanks to a variety of projects going on around the world. One day soon you will be able to make like Data and dress up like Sherlock Holmes. Accompanied by Geordi of course.

Spock’s coffin

Spock’s Coffin-While it won’t land on the Genesis planet, you can now enter the final frontier the same way Spock did in this photon tube coffin. This is one that came directly from the show, allowing you to die a Vulcan’s death with style.

Communicator from ST:The Motion Picture

Wrist phone-This one appeared in Star Trek The motion picture as well as other vintage sci-fi shows. Of course, we now have wrist phones that let us communicate in the same way. It won’t be long at all before we have those shirt communicators that always malfunction.


The Tricorder-This device could detect particles in the air, life signs. Hell, it could probably tell you what color undies Ensign Rand of Beverly Crusher was wearing. Now, it is becoming a reality as a personal food analyzer.

Livingston’s aquarium

Livingston’s aquarium-Livingston was the tropical fish in Picard’s ready room. You can now own a replica of the aquarium. Of course, you’ll have to build a ship around it. Then you can sit at your leisure sipping a cup of Earl Grey tea and watching your little fish.


The transporter-Scientists have had some success with moving tiny amounts of matter from one area to another, so we are well on our way to beaming to and from the office one day soon. Let’s just hope we don’t end up a pirate in the Mirror, Mirror universe.

The trouble with tribbles…

Tribbles-You didn’t think the tribble could be had in this reality? Think again. Find one here. It’s probably as close as you will ever get to the real deal. Well, I’m sure they don’t chirp those cute tribble noises…

STNG interface

The touchscreen-In Star Trek The Next Generation, everything was a touch screen with a sexy look that could not be beat. Now everything has a touchscreen, including a little thing called the iPhone. And everything is beginning to look just like this interface.

There you have it. This is by no means a complete list of everything Star Trek that has come true, but it’s pretty impressive nonetheless. Just a bit of geek fun. Sci-Fi has shaped our world for over a century and it will continue to influence us. More importantly, it will give us more cool gadgets and toys to buy.

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