10 Sci-Fi Gadgets That Inspired Real Inventions

10. Tablet Computers


Star Trek The Next Generation first aired in 1987, over thirty years ago. Most of those reading this were probably children then, or not yet born.

A key part of the Enterprise crew's everyday equipment was the PADD, a piece of technology that seemed entirely futuristic to audiences at the time. Touch screen enabled, able to store and access seemingly limitless data and memory in a handheld device and absolutely commonplace to the crew, the Personal Access Display Device could be used for all manner of things from advanced Starfleet exploratory work to sending simple text messages from one crew member to another.

Designer Michael Okuda explained that the PADD was mainly designed to be, "as inexpensive as possible," combined with, "as futuristic as possible." The touch screen technology that has now became such a key part of our modern world was chosen by the art department at the time as it saved the creation of countless buttons, flashing lights and levers on the set.

Now, tablet computers can be found and used everywhere, and are in many settings as readily available as they were on the Enterprise.

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Reader, cinema lover, gamer, TV watcher. Teacher too. Years of caring too much (is that possible?) about Star Wars, Harry Potter, Star Trek, WWE, Stephen King books, Game of Thrones and gaming will influence my writing.