One of my biggest nitpicks in Trek is how little progress has been made in flashlight technology

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by RookieBatman, Aug 31, 2019.

  1. RookieBatman

    RookieBatman Commodore Commodore

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    Here we are in the 24th century (maybe it happened in the original show too, but I don't specifically remember any instances where they use flashlights), with all this amazing technology. Warp engines, transporters, holodecks, androids, replicators, etc. etc. And yet, when someone needs to go explore a cave or something, it seems like flashlights haven't changed or improved at all (except for the lack of handles).

    Does anyone else feel like a 24th century flashlight should just be able to light up a whole cavern like it was midday? I feel like that's not a big leap.
     
  2. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    PROMETHEUS did things best, with floating orbs.

    I'd have a fantastical bubble of light that is invisible from the outside follow characters. An inside out cloak if you will.

    Now to get an iphone back in time to give the man who played Gary Seven.
     
  3. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

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    Sadly, filming technology is based on IRL flash light tech and only very recently did it improve.
     
  4. RookieBatman

    RookieBatman Commodore Commodore

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    Why couldn't they have just had really big studio lights outside the frame? There might have been a little suspension of disbelief issue with where the shadows are or whatever, but come on, it's a special effect. It's not like they're really on a starship flying through space either. Just having actual lights lighting up the whole room while the actor holds a futuristic-looking flashlight that doesn't do anything would still look more realistic than many of the post-production visual effects on TNG.
     
  5. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

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    ::shrugs:: Go ask the VFX folks / Cinematographer / Writers.
     
  6. RookieBatman

    RookieBatman Commodore Commodore

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    The point is, they could've created the illusion of flashlights that provided much stronger illumination. They were not limited by IRL flash light tech.
     
  7. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Commodore Commodore

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    Of course, the lights they used on TNG weren't actually flashlights, they had cords going up the actors arms, if memory serves. So technically that makes them lamps.
     
  8. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

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    But the light quality and intensity still sucked compared to modern flash lights that are easily capable of over 1,000+ lumens
     
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  9. Ithekro

    Ithekro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Too bright and not only does it harm the camera, but anyone you shine it at. Every have someone with those damned blue halogen bulbs behind you at might....its painful.
     
  10. at Quark's

    at Quark's Commodore Commodore

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    Usually, when they are in a caves it's for a storytelling reason. It's supposed to be dark and a bit eery in those, with limited visibility and dangers that might come out of the corner- or even if only to set the mood of the scene.

    Give them 24th century flashlights that light up the caves like mid-day and they'd have to find an alternative to get the same effect. Hence, if they had them you probably still wouldn't get to see them since they rarely would be shown in caves anymore ...
     
  11. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Does flashlight technology really need to be updated? It’s just a handheld device that emits light. Unless you’d like to see future people with flashlight implants in their eyes that emit beams of light like Cyclops from the X-Men, there really isn’t a need to update it.
     
  12. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

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    It makes sense given that future tech ties in directly with Star Trek's portrayal of the future.

    Basically, most things should be technically updated.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...But most aren't. Which is pretty realistic, considering how automobiles have seen basically no upgrades in the past century or so, save for meaningless cosmetic refinement and utterly minimal fine-tuning of performance. There simply is no demand whatsoever for better cars.

    Flashlights are an awful thing for somebody who either wants to illuminate a space or wants to paint a target: they fail miserably at both, creating shadows in all the wrong places and painting the user himself. There's major tactical demand for getting utterly rid of the things: free-flying light sources operating far away from the user would be vastly superior in military, law enforcement or other tactical use, and moderate demand in other types of emergency response where fixed light sources (equally far away) cannot be easily established. Technically, there are few showstoppers. Does this mean that better illumination is on its way? Probably not, considering how gadawful our cars still are.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

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    So Tiny Drones that light up an area is what you are recommending that attach itself to the environment and light up an area.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If the idea is just to be able to have a look around, then send the drones and stay the hell out of Dodge yourself, though. If you want situational awareness while personally attending, combine illumination with extra eyes on the drones - or ditch the lights and just wear goggles that tie into those extra eyes, especially if you have reason to think that your possible opponents will be handicapped in the dark.

    If you just want mood lighting, flashlights are bad again because the light is so shifty when it's attached to your body - so once more get a drone to hold or mount the lights for you.

    What they could also do in Trek is have night turn into day with a bit of help from above: have the starship shine a spotlight down on the landing party. That would probably look really weird, with daylight brightness and noon shadows but without any blue scatter on the surrounding skies. That is, something right out of the TOS set illumination books!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Misread thread title as "fleshlight". Very disappointed.
     
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  17. Ithekro

    Ithekro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That would be the holodeck.
     
  18. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Headlamps like spelunkers and hikers wear. The light is always where you're looking, wbich is where ya need it.
     
  19. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Just Another Product of Today Moderator

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  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Aka the "shoot me right here cue light"...

    Alas, we seldom look straight ahead. Except perhaps if wearing a headlamp which prevents us from seeing anywhere else in the dark. OTOH, it shouldn't be all that difficult to slave the lamp to the movements of your eyes, so that you could do the natural thing and dart your eyes left and right in search of targets of interest. (OTTH, having your eye movements explicated that way would be disconcerning to many, probably including yourself.)

    Timo Saloniemi