I've seen it discussed before, but it sometimes doesn't really hit me until I see where someone who is talking around it, completely misses it.
Of course, I'm talking about the Star Trek influence. How close are we to realizing Star Trek Technology?
While reading an article about how computers are"face suckers" for time wasting games and online apps that people let themselves become sucked into regularly or the article on how current productivity apps still aren't intuitive enough, I thought of just how close Google has gotten us to the Star Trek computer.
I personally prefer "Star Trek: Next Generation" myself. I can recall how casual and for granted it is for Capt. Picard to say "Computer, on screen" when someone sent a communications request.
Enterprise on screen communications is pretty much a Google Plus Hangout on demand. Perhaps not on demand so much as always on? The ability to have your end of the conversation muted while you do something else you don't want seen or heard is already part of Hangouts.
Indeed the only part missing in our current reality is the is the ability to just talk to the computer to give it commands. There are plenty of times though when the command to end communication or to mute is done at the keyboard as well. Even computer interaction on the Enterprise allows for both voice and keyboard control at the same time.
Also, Is not the Enterprise computer a centralized cloud in it's own right? Captain Picard can start talking to the computer, querying it or giving commands as he walks from the bridge to his ready room to getting in a lift and going down to Ten Forward?
Is he not able to be logged in from anywhere on the ship and access the computer, his account and data and privileges such as we now have access to Google Docs, Gmail etc...?
The difference is that Picard never sees an ad. The Enterprise computer is paid for and private. But wait, Google offers ad free access if you pay for access much like paying for HBO or cable access. So it's possible.
Cameras that are connected or accessible to the internet are being put everywhere. Cell phones with cameras are growing in number as well.
The one thing missing in this development is that the world isn't being mic'd up at the same time. At least, not to the same degree as cameras are out there.
On Star Trek, they have a com badge that keeps them in touch with the Enterprise computer. Is that not a very small cell phone sans camera? Even though they may be transported down to the surface or even below ground caves of a planet, the comm badge keeps them in touch with the Enterprise compute. They can talk to others on ship, give commands or queries to the computer. Sure as heck sounds like where today's smart phone and high speed networks are headed to me.
Of course, this leads me to ask the age old question, is it life imitating art, or Google trying to monetize all communications or Apple trying to to claim that everything science fiction has described to us, they already invented and patented?
I think it's very interesting to see how close Google is leading us to the bridge of the Enterprise.