Aye, but the list of those 'scientifically proven impossible' things that ultimately because possible seems to grow daily. We must not accept as 'fact' those things that seem extremely unlikely today. If we can't dream it, we surely will never do it. Excellent article!
"Cap'n, you cannot defy the laws of physics." And yet they seemed to have 'warp' travel, gravimetric plating, photon torpedoes, and replicators (though I think we saw some 3D printed food some where in Design News).
And as mentioned before, transparent aluminum seemingly developed with a few keystrokes into a Mac computer. Then we have the crew assembling large panels of this stuff in the cargo hold of a Kligon Bird of Prey. The scale-up was of record proportions!!!
We all had a good laugh when Scotty 'spoke' into the mouse --- but then also laughed when he simply typed the algorithm for transparent aluminum into the keyboard of a Macintosh and yielded a dynamically rotating molecular 3D image after about 15 seconds of input. Loved it!
"Episode IV, The Voyage Home" still ranks as one of favorite all-time movies. "Well, Double-dumb-ass on you !! "
Battar – agreed – you'll notice I did not specifically mention the 'Transporter' – ( altho' I DO concede that I did say "all" the technologies). So, your correction is accepted.
My point, however, covers literally dozens of lesser-noticed things, like the Bluetooth headset sticking out of Lt. Uhuru's ear on every episode. Or, the automatic presence-sensing sliding doors. Or, the hand-held scanner units. Oh, and here's a good one; Scotty taking a small rectangular handheld prism, and inserting it into the main computer console, from which spews gigabytes of reference data -- the pre-cursor to today's USB thumb-drive. All of these things were mere fantasy visions in 1966, and are commonplace in 2013.
I remember watching reruns of Star Trek in the Engineering Lounge while in college and hearing the naysayers ridicule the technology depicted as they walked by. They were descendants of the Flat Earth Society; If God Meant us to Fly, He'd have given us wings religion; and the Can't Travel Faster than the Speed of Sound club. I know Star Trek inspired me and many, many other engineers. As for the engineer naysayers they moved on to management positions with the bean counters where they can do the most harm.
When I got my flip-phone, I thought the person that designed it was definitely a Trekie.
I recall that it wasn't that Scotty said something was impossible and then did it, rather than he told Kirk it would take much longer than what Kirk then told him he had time do to it - and then did it.
This was exemplified in the movie "Generations" where Scotty told Jordy (maybe not the exact verbiage) "My God man, you didn't tell him what time it would really take, did you?"
A running gag in one of my old assignments was to deplore the lack of "transparent aluminum" whenever we had a materials problem. This fantastic 23rd century material was referenced in the movie, Star Trek IV and at least brought a grin to the face of our metallurgists whenever it was brought up (even by our chief engineer, one time :O).
Sadly, in our timeline, the guy at the plant in the Bay Area must have been out of the office when Scotty and Bones popped by? We've been waiting for this product to show up since the late 20th century when it was (sort of) invented. Scotty even got an old Mac to do the work for him (once he quit talking into the mouse).
We can't always expect a time-travelling starship chief engineer to show up with a game-changing new material, but I think we can all agree the future holds the promise of better materials. As engineers and designers, we're wise to keep our eyes open to new materials. I learned this from Star Trek.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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