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104 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2021 Gene Roddenberry and his writers and set designers had an enormous task predicting what the future would be like in 2250. e first Star Trek television show, "e Original Series," debuted on September 8, 1966 and aired for three seasons on NBC. • e super futuristic show used a very large "communicator" with a wire mesh antenna as part of the flip phone case. It provided the ever-important "person locator" for beaming back up, including the immortal phrase, "Two to beam up, Scotty." By 2340, the communicator was a gold metallic emblem that you just touched, with seemingly AI ability to know with whom you wanted to commu- nicate with. Of all the future inventions the writers created, the communicator Star Trek's Impact on Innovation was probably the only one or two that we have even come close to developing. • Phaser hand-held weapons? Nope, not even close. • Warp drive? We are still trying to get above 20,000 miles per hour, a mon- strously long way to go to light speed and make the leap to warp speed, seven times the speed of light, if that is even possible. • e AI computers? We have done not a bad job of getting close to what they used. • e transporter? Well, I will let someone else test it first, not wanting to get my molecules scattered forever. • My favorite future invention was the "food creator." I'll take a Pittsburgh steak and single malt drink, please. It's a future invention that we have gleefully imagined, but sadly is improbable. Consider This Feature Column by John Talbot, TRAMONTO CIRCUITS

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