Phaser, tricorder, holodeck: It’s a given that the futuristic (and make-believe) gadgetry of Star Trek should appear light-years ahead of today’s technology. But cut the 21st century some slack. Finding naturally occurring dilithium crystals is easier said than done--and without them, you can kiss warp speed good-bye. Still, we’re slowly catching up, particularly in the area of wireless communications.
As millions of Trekkies flock to movie theaters to watch the new prequel film of Star Trek (slated to open on May 8), we’re taking the opportunity to compare classic Trek tech with today’s relatively clumsy and primitive equivalents. How far behind is our current technology? Let’s boldly go and find out.