iPads and PADDs   Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, my wife and I were watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation” while I was playing on my iPad. Picard was handed a PADD, one of the tablets used on the show. My wife remarked on how clunky it looked compared to my iPad. I was amused by that.

An interesting article on Ars Technica today: How Star Trek artists imagined the iPad… 23 years ago. Basically, it speaks of how the creators of “Star Trek,” most specifically artist Michael Okuda, came up with the interface design seen on later “Star Trek” series (“The Next Generation,” et al.). It also looks at how the iPad compares favorably to it.

The short description: they chose the format in order to keep set-building cheap, and stumbled upon an interface that was futuristic, made sense, and did not limit what the writers could include in the plot. My favorite quote: “…And I realized the proper answer to that was, ‘It’s in the software.’ All the things we needed could be software-definable.” iOS devices, such as the iPad and iPhone, really carry forward that philosophy. I call them the most SciFi things I own–this seems to bare that out.

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Posted 2010-08-10 by Mr. Guilt in computers, Geeky, SciFi

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