Star Trek, a series that premiered back in the 1960's and has had multiple incarnations since then. Although the actors in the original series has aged or passed on, the movies still continue, thrilling a couple of generations.
It was one of the first shows with an interracial kiss so it was ahead of its time. Since the first series graced the airwaves, many of its tools have become reality.
1.Many of the ships had food replicators where you walk up and order your meal. Although food replication is in the infant stages it is possible to use a 3D printer to create certain food items.
2. The universal translator they used so you could instantly understand what the alien said. The Voice Translator app can translate 71 languages. In addition, I've seen programs you can put on your phones, use the camera to scan signs and the signs are instantly translated.
3. Tablets. The tablets we've seen in a variety of episodes are very real. I have three right now I use for various things but they are very real.
4. The flip communicator used by Captain Kirk and his crew have come and gone already. Think of the flip phone from a few years ago and how it resembled those early devices.
5. The flat large screen televisions which we saw as large screens where information was shared. Now, most avid sports fans have a large screen television attached to the wall. Some of the fancier hotels offer the same things.
6. Blue tooth ear pieces so you can carry on a conversation with someone on the phone. It first appeared in the original Star Trek on Uhura who used it to monitor everything on and off the ship. Now you see people wearing them everywhere. It makes it hard to determine if they are talking to you or someone on the phone because all you see is the ear piece.
7. Tricorders were used by various personnel including the doctor. These exist as hand held portable computers which can scan for medical or scientific information.
8. Do you remember when the captain of the ship would communicate with another ship and you saw the person you spoke with? That exists as one of several different programs which allows you to do that. I've done it with people using my itouch. It is cool, knowing you you are speaking with.
9. Transparent Aluminum from the movie where they land in San Francisco and need to move a whale. It exists but not exactly as we might envision it. It is actually transparent aluminum armor which begins as a powder that is heated into a crystalline form similar to glass. In this form it is bullet proof and weighs less than regular glass.
10. Remember the hyposprays? One whoosh and the medicine was injected through the skin with no pain, no poke, no needle? It exists but its known as a Jet Injector. The real world one works by using air to push the medicine into the person's body and was designed to use during mass vaccinations. It looks more like a paint gun because it can hold a lot of medicine.
11. I always enjoyed the "Set your phaser to stun!" It wasn't till around 1969 that the first Taser gun was invented which uses an electrical charge to stun a person.
I wonder if science fiction gave inventors the idea for some of these inventions or did the ideas that appeared in publications give science fiction the ideas. Either way, I think its cool so many things have become a reality.