Over the years, every time I watch the TV series Star Trek The Next Generation there are always two things I wish I could have: A food replicator and a holodeck.
During the episodes it’s common to see people on board of the Enterprise ship getting their favorite food from a machine where their culinary desires are literally materialized in front of their eyes.
Then, when the memebers of the crew need some relaxation, they can go to the holodeck, a place where wonderful images of exotic paradises are shown, as well as some scenes from specific moments in time.
Watching this series all of this seems fascinating and appealing, and I’ve always thought that may be some day one of this things will be available for everybody who’d like get it.
However, I really never thought about how those wonderful things coming from the imagination of creative minds worked. Then, one day this book came to my hands Star Trek The Next Generation. Technical Manual.
Here, Rick Sternbach and Michael Okuda, explain in a very detailed form how things inside the USS Enterprise (NCC1701-D) work. And of course, the first two things I looked for were the food replicator and the holodeck.
According to the book, the food replicator system “can instantly recreate nearly 4,500 types of food which are stored in computer memory.”
This is achieved through the “dematerialization of a measured quantity of raw materials”, which are “rematerlized” later on thanks to a “replication terminal” that produces an “identical copy of the original dish.”
In the case of the holodeck, it’s explained as a “Holographic environment simulator” that “utillizes two main subsystems, the holographic imagery and the matter conversion subsystem”. This “creates” simulated objects that are hard to differentiate from the real objects.
Of course, if I could have these two wonderful machines at hand, I’d intantely recreate a delicious hot cappuccino which I’d drink while enjoying a wonderful view of the Swiss Alps; or I’d reproduce some pinnaple juice to drink it on a Hawaiian beach.