Star Trek is iconic for many things, but its futuristic technology is what wowed and inspired many a viewer.
Bearing in mind that the franchise is 55 years old, some of that tech from the future is already here. So, let’s take a seat on the bridge of the Enterprise and have a delve through the computer’s logs.
What’s been and gone
Let’s delve into the futuristic tech that is within touching grasp of our fingertips. Believe it or not, a warp drive could be coming our way soon. Perhaps not as quick as Picard heading off to engage with the Borg, but still. There are exciting rumblings coming from NASA regarding their EmDrive technology. Although this isn’t ‘exactly’ warp drive, it could lead to super-fast interplanetary travel. Which could then lead to warp drive. So come on NASA, make it so.
Next up, the trusty food replicator. Ever ready to present Jean-Luc with his ‘Tea, Earl Grey, Hot’, the replicator was a staple part of Star Trek. Although there isn’t yet a way to magic up cups of tea, we are close. We have 3D printers. They can print complex three-dimensional objects, so maybe in time, we’ll get an instant Early Grey cup of tea.
Another regular element of ships on Star Trek (and other sci-fi shows), is the tractor beam. Used for a variety of reasons, it was most commonly used to help tow stranded ships to safety. Now, bear with me. We don’t have to ability to use tractor beams to pull large objects along, but there is something similar. Albeit on a smaller scale. Optical tweezers work by holding and moving microscopic objects with two lasers. So, it’s not moving shuttle craft around space, but it’s a start. And who knows where that technology could lead in a few years?
Beam me up, Scotty…
How many of you have wished you could get instantly teleported to where you need to go? Maybe it’s being stuck in a traffic jam and late for work? Or maybe you’re at a social event stuck talking to the worlds most boring person. We’ve all wished there was a metaphorical Scotty to beam us out of a situation. Well, real-life transporters to move human beings are some way off. But there is a glimmer of hope. This all comes down to quantum mechanics. Back in 2015, scientists managed to transport photons across 63 miles of fibre optics. This was a big jump on what was achieved previously, so opens the door to more advancements in the coming years. Good old science.
Tricorders were a doctor’s best friend through Star Trek. They gave them the ability to find out what’s wrong by a quick scan over the body. It was also able to mend minor wounds. ‘Bones’ McCoy certainly enjoyed using it. There was a competition launched in 2014 for companies to create a Tricorder type device. It should be able to detect certain conditions. Although it won’t have the abilities that the fictional device had, it’s still exciting stuff.
One of the coolest things from the Star Trek universe was the cloaking device used by Klingon ships. It enabled them to go undetected from scans until they decloaked. How far off are we from having real-life cloaking devices? Maybe not as far off as you think. Scientists have created cloaking with a small assortment of electronic devices (metamaterials). They managed to change the reflection and refraction of light that we’re used to. This is cool as it opens the door for newer metamaterials to possibly give new effects. Although according to NASA, invisibility cloaking is still a way off.
Full speed ahead
There were many times where Captain Kirk ordered for full impulse power from Mr Sulu. The fictional impulse engines were based on fusion reactions, as opposed to the chemical reactions of real ones. We don’t have impulse power just yet, but they are a real possibility of future engineering. In recent years, ion drive engines have been used by various space agencies to propel probes to asteroids and comets. They’re much more efficient than chemical rockets and were mentioned a few times in Star Trek. Although electric cars are the imminent future, imagine being propelled down a highway with an ion thruster behind you?
One of the more science-focused elements of Star Trek was the matter and antimatter generation. It was one of the most efficient types of power sources for ships. Antimatter has been created in microscopic quantities, but not enough for power generation. Certainly not enough to power anything that resembles a starship.
Who knows what the future will bring, but advancements in science certainly give us optimism that the future just might be Star Trek.
That’s our list of Star Trek tech that’s almost here. What would you most like to see come to life from the shows? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out what we can expect from Star Trek: Strange New Worlds HERE.
9 Bands You Forgot Played Themselves In Movies
There are more bands than you think that played themselves on the big screen. Here are nine bands you might’ve forgotten appeared in movies.
1. Alice Cooper – Wayne’s World (1992)
Being a teenager in the nineties was great for many reasons. Two of those being the release of the Wayne’s World movies. The genius that is Mike Myers created one of the best music-based films of all time. Plus, he convinced one of the greatest rock musicians of all time to be in it. If you’re not a geek like me, you may have forgotten that Alice Cooper was featured in the film. It had the iconic scene of Wayne and Garth meeting, Alice, backstage on bent knees. We’re not worthy, indeed. Alice himself pulls off the diva Rockstar brilliantly, even though he’s a genuine, down-to-earth guy who plays a lot of golf.
2. Primus – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
Let’s try and erase the recent Bill & Ted movie from our memory and head back to 1991 for their bogus journey. They come from the future to kill the non-robot versions of themselves and ruin their performance at a Battle of the Bands competition. What’s cool is the band who are playing before them. Californian alt-metal kings Primus. Although the clip is only short, they play themselves and sound as you would expect. Epic.
3. Fall Out Boy – Sex Drive (2008)
You’d be forgiven for forgetting about this one. The teen sex comedy from 2008 is forgettable and won’t really appeal to anyone apart from its teen target audience. If you can sit through all the cringe-inducing moments, you will spot pop-rockers Fall Out Boy. They are performing in a barn in front of some drunk Amish teenagers. There’s a reason for that, but I won’t bore you with it here. What is good, is the soundtrack of the film. As well as Fall Out Boy, it features Airbourne, AC/DC and weirdly, Kenny Loggins.
4. Twisted Sister – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Paul Reuben’s character Pee Wee Herman made his big-screen outing in 1985. The children’s show star had a scene where he is being chased through a studio parking lot. Unbeknown to him, glam rockers Twisted Sister are recording a music video on a car. Lead singer Dee Snider is always up for a laugh, so it’s no surprise they’re featured. The clip is brilliant. Pee Wee’s prop-laden bike is just about to crash into Twisted Sister and the look on Dee’s face is genius. Go check out the clip.
5. David Bowie – Zoolander (2001)
Who can forget the brilliant Zoolander? Starring Ben Stiller as the dippy model, it’s one of the funniest comedies ever made. One of the best scenes of the film is the walk-off. This involved Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s characters doing a catwalk-off. Of sorts. Can you remember who refereed it? The legend himself, David Bowie. It’s not the first time Bowie was in a movie – remember Labyrinth? But this time, he plays himself. And does it with all the cool swagger you would expect.
6. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Clueless (1995)
I can’t say that I was a massive fan of this teen comedy at the time. The plot revolves around Alicia Silverstone’s character giving her friend a makeover. The premise doesn’t sound like it lends itself to a cool band cameo. You’d be wrong, though. There’s a scene where the lead characters go watch a gig. The band that are playing are The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Boston ska-punk legends are only on stage for a moment, but it’s a slick clip. It certainly brings the film up a level on the cool stakes.
7. Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy (2010)
This sequel to the original sci-fi classic is a cracking movie. The visuals and effects are stunning, as is the atmosphere of the film. The music to the film is also rather special. A futuristic and dystopian movie could only have one act doing the score, and that’s Daft Punk. It works a treat. The music is intertwined into the movie and becomes a part of it. The delicious electronica is the perfect complement to the visuals. The French electronic masters also have a cameo at the end of the movie. They’re spinning the decks in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene.
8. Aerosmith – Wayne’s World (1993)
We’ve already had an appearance from the first film further up our list, and the second doesn’t disappoint either. The plot revolves around Wayne and Garth putting on their own music festival. Book them and they will come, is the advice given. And they certainly did. The headline band for the festival were none other than Aerosmith themselves. They do a sterling effort on stage as performers. And Steven Tyler also shows that he can handle his own on the acting front too.
9. Reel Big Fish – BASEketball (1998)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone star in this bizarre and hilarious sports comedy. Written by the king of spoof David Zucker, it’s become a cult classic. The soundtrack heavily features ska-punkers Reel Big Fish. They do a brilliant rendition of A-HA’s Take on Me, which they also perform in the movie. The band are the entertainment at the stadium where Parker and Stone are competing. You can tell by the footage that the band are clearly enjoying themselves. They add a touch more fun to an already hugely funny film.
That’s our list of nine bands who played themselves in movies. Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our list of actors in bands HERE.
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