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Old October 23 2013, 06:44 PM   #26
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Are communicators and tricorders anachronistic now?

Mark_Nguyen wrote: View Post
My point is, SHOULD the vision of the future as represented in Trek be updated to reflect how far we've come? Everyone does stuff on their phones today - and through 2005 and the end of "Enterprise" we could text people or receive emails if we were lucky. Should the traditional "kit" of Starfleet away gear be updated beyond the usual communicator, tricorder and/or phaser?
The interface needs work. Mass Effect seems to have tackled that with the Omni Tools, which is basically just a holographic touchscreen that wraps around your arm. The omnitool itself is built into the user's clothing and/or surgically implanted in his arm and it basically functions as a combination tricorder/communicator/replicator/melee weapon.

In Star Trek's case, it needs to be realized that your basic communicator is limited by the fact that it has no screen, no buttons, no real way to interact with it other than flipping it open and talking to it. The tricorder has the same problem: even the TNG version has no keyboard and the button layout is pretty limited. For both devices, I could see having a device that you flip open and it immediately creates a holographic display either in the air in front of you, or a virtual display that only the user can see (via contact lenses or implants or whatever). Communicators might even allow visual communication this way, and tricorders could -- through a lot of fancy touchscreen work in a holographic interface -- be programmed to do some pretty fancy things without the Trekian cringeworthy "push four buttons in seemingly random combinations" programming technique.
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