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Shocker: Star Trek influences gadget design

Peter Rojas

star trek communicatorHere's a shocker: the designs for lots and lots of gadgets were influenced or anticipated by the original Star Trek series. Among them, like the original user interface for the Palm (the Enterprise's bridge panels), Bluetooth wireless headsets (Uhura's wireless earpiece) the original Treo (Star Fleet's handheld communicators), and even, this article in the San Francisco Chronicle claims, the use of Flash memory cards to store music and video files:

On "Star Trek," the crew recorded audio and video messages on square, palm-size cartridges that were played back with a computer. Today, small, square flash-memory cards are used to store digital photos, MP3s and short videos. Disk drives, CDs and DVDs also store multimedia files. "In the '60s, it was inconceivable that you would have a miniature disk drive, let alone nonviolable semiconductor memory in a plastic square,'' said Perlman in an e-mail.

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