Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Apr 2011 21:29 UTC
Legal Well. Raise your hands if you didn't see this one coming. Nobody is safe from Apple's and Microsoft's legal crusade against Android, not even Samsung, which supplies a lot of chips to Apple. Apple has sued Samsung for copying Cupertino's look and feel in various Samsung devices. This is about as surprising as the tides rolling in. Update: And Samsung's going to strike back. Hit 'm hard, Samsung. I don't like you anymore than any of these other patent trolls, but maybe we'll finally see it all crash and burn.
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There's a long history of Star Trek inspiring modern tech, and rarely is any credit given by the companies so inspired. Motorola was one of the few; they gave credit with the StarTAC cellphone so many years ago (reminiscent of the flip-open communicators from TOS). And Bluetooth headsets are TNG-era chest communicators worn in the ear. I'm still waiting for the affordable, wearable cellphone, i.e. the entire phone inside the earpiece. SAR fears be damned!

You mentioned the PADD devices, and it was just a few years after TNG first aired that the Fujitsu Stylistic series of tablet PCs emerged. I owned one; quite an advanced device for its time! Granted, it wasn't until the iPhone and iPad that you could see a lot of resemblance to the fictional devices, but the general idea was in use long before iDevices (including the first iDevice, the Newton).

As for the phaser, well there is already an electromechanical equivalent in use in a few police forces: Wireless stun guns. Instead of wired leads, the payload is wireless and launches as any other projectile. Of course the tech itself is completely different but the end result is the same: A stunned target from a distance with no wires to get tangled up in.

A handheld universal translator, as shown in the Star Trek films? Any Android phone with the Google Translate app.

I have a feeling that, apart from warp drive and instant terraforming, we will achieve all of the fictional tech from Star Trek within the next hundred years or so.

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