Smithsonian, Shatner: The Future Is Here


It would seem odd to even think of a world that you can actually get “beamed up”. Similar to the Star Trek “mass transit”, that transportation method might not be that far from reality. According to William Shatner, a world full of the sci-fi technology we saw in Star Trek is “not that far-fetched.”

During a panel on the “plausibility of science fiction concepts” at Smithsonian magazine’s “Future Is Here” festival, the man better known for his role as Captain Kirk addressed the audience about how much of what we have seen from the Star Trek series may be “not so out of this world.”

“It’s not that far-fetched,” Shatner said. “Although a lot of the concepts in science fiction are absurd to our Newtonian minds, anything is possible because of the new language of quantum physics.”

But think about it…much of the high tech we saw in Star Trek so many years ago has already entered into our everyday lives in the 50 years since premiering:
Kirk’s communicator

Uhura’s bluetooth

Even the Enterprise’s automatic sliding doors seemed revolutionary

Now the importance of smartphones and automatic doors make these pieces of technology seem ancient. According to Shatner, the military has even based some of their vessels on the Enterprise’s design.

“The Navy did come in and look at some of the ergonomics of the bridge, and apparently copied it,” he said. “A captain of a vessel not too long ago [said] some of the bridge stuff on his ship was designed after what our designers had [done].”

But what about teleportation; one of the shows most famous means of transportation? Of course, we don’t currently have a technology that allows human beings to send eachother through space in a single instant, but Mr. Shatner seems optimistic that science is achieving even more advances in that realm of research.

“Can you transport all the molecules in a human being? Apparently, it’s impossible. Can you transport a replica of that person? Possible, but the amount of computer energy and space is overwhelming,” Shatner explained.

Technologically speaking, we’re still not done exploring the final frontier just yet.


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