Which of the imagined 23rd-century gadgets from the original "Star Trek" and its movie and TV sequels remain futuristic, and which technologies have already been invented? Try our quiz.
The universal translator, which enabled the Enterprise crew to instantly understand aliens
We do have electronic gadgets that laborously translate spoken words from foreign languages to English, but they only work on pre-set languages, and the process is nowhere as smooth and effortless as it was on the TV series.
Warp drive, which enabled the Enterprise to travel the enormous distances between stars quickly
Though physicists have theorized that warping space-time to enable faster-than-light travel might be possible, we don't yet have the ability to generate the incredible amounts of energy needed to try it.
The tricorder, Spock's handheld device for measuring conditions on alien planets
Spock used the tricorder to check everything from atmospheric composition to the presence of diseases. NASA actually has developed a handheld device called LOCAD, used by astronauts on the International Space Station, that can detect potentially dangerous microorganisms.
Phasers, the powerful rayguns used by the Enterprise to defend itself against hostile forces
The phasers depicted in "Star Trek" are some sort of generic high-energy beam that can blast targets. The U.S. military already has phaser-like stun weapons that use microwaves to cause a painful sensation, and military laser weapons are in development.
The holodeck, a room in a starship that actually simulated another physical environment
The holodeck, depicted in the series "Star Trek: The Next Generation," included objects made of virtual "holomatter." That goes way beyond present virtual reality simulations, which essentially are sensory illusions.
Deflector shields, which protected the Federation's starships from attack
The Enterprise can put up electromagnetic shields to block attacks. While we have the ability to deflect electrically charged objects, we don’t yet have anything close to the Enterprise's capabilities.
Cloaking devices, which hid starships from detection by enemies
Federation starships had the ability to render themselves invisible. Researchers recently have demonstrated the ability to guide light around objects, which eventually may result in a practical invisiblity technology.
The Starship Enterprise had artificial gravity that simulated the normal environment of a planet such as Earth. NASA says it doesn’t have anything close to that yet, though the generation of artificial graviton particles is imaginable.
Sensors, which allowed the Enterprise crew to detect information about distant worlds before they sent a landing party down to the surface
The Entreprise's crew utilized powerful sensors that could detect information from distant objects at faster-than-light speed. That's quite a bit beyond our present technology, but we do have sophisticated sensing devices that can gather data on magnetic fields, radioactivity and vibration, and imaging technology that can create three-dimensional pictures of the interiors of objects, including the human body.