Like many people of my generation, I’ve been watching Star Trek since the original series and have continued to enjoy every episode through the animated version from the 1970s to “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Deep Space Nine,” “Voyager” and “Enterprise.”
Star Trek is such a popular entertainment franchise that it has spawned multiple motion pictures beyond the TV series episodes, as well as the creation of online games and novels, with no end in sight to their development. This is why my friends and I think that Star Trek will live forever!
One of my favorite characters in “Next Generation” is Lieutenant Geordi La Forge. He lost his eyesight, which still is a severe disability in contemporary society. In the world of Star Trek, though, Geordi gets to wear a cool device that lets him see not just the visible spectrum like the rest of us ordinary humans, but also in infrared, ultraviolet and even radio waves.
His device is called a “VISOR” and is short for “Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement.” The VISOR even lets Geordi monitor a person’s vital signs (temperature and heart rate, for example) so he can see their health level and get an idea if they are lying or not.
In the Star Trek universe, doctors keep the crew healthy by using sophisticated equipment like the tricorder, which you hold in your h and to scan a person’s body in high resolution to help determine the nature of an illness or injury and come up with a treatment plan.
We are still a long way off from developing a functioning device like the tricorder or the VISOR in real life, but the popularity of Star Trek among engineers leads me to believe that the show will inspire someone to actually invent this type of equipment soon enough.