Star Trek Science Fiction & Science Fact Navigraphic

Here at musicMagpie we love Tech, and when it comes to Trek tech our excitement WARP speeds to a whole new level! To pay homage to the iconic and hugely successful Star Trek series, we've launched a first of its kind, fully interactive, Star Trek Navigraphic!

Music Magpie presents

Science fiction & science fact


Warp Engaged Loading
  • The Original Series


  • Star Trek Generations

    Earth space dock

  • Alternate Reality

    London, Earth

The original series


  • Communicator

  • Hypospray

  • Phasers

  • Science Fiction:


    Perhaps the most iconic of all the Trek tech, although even the Motorola "StarTAC" looks less dated than the model from the original series.

    Exceeding modern mobile phone capabilities, the Star Trek Communicator allows exploratory crew members to stay in contact with their orbiting Starship without any satellite relay, using subspace transmissions.

    Communicators also served as an emergency signalling beacon, which are popular today in the form of personal attack alarms.

    Captain Kirk's communicator was unable to use Instagram, he must have rued the missed opportunities to capture shots of the Calder II sunsets. Smartphone cameras are now capable of telling you what’s around you with HERE City Lens. This feature would definitely have been useful for inter-planetary exploration!

  • Science Fact:

    Motorola StarTAC

    Invented by Dr. Martin Cooper in 1973 and released to the public years later.

    Cooper claimed the idea was inspired by Star Trek's communicators, although if the StarTAC had a similar dial, it would take you 27 dial turns to call 999. Not great in the event of a Romulan attack.

    With over 60 million devices sold, the StarTAC pioneered widespread consumer adoption of mobile phones.

    There are now over 6 billion active mobile phones on planet Earth, and yet not one can connect a call to an orbiting Starship.

    We've come a long way.

    Check out these ultra-high-tech foldable phones, coming to the high street sooner than you might think! We're pretty sure even Captain Kirk would have ditched his PADD for one of these!

    Through the use of NFC technology, in the future a lot of transactions will be made instantly through your phone!

  • Science Fiction:


    Developed by the mid-22nd century, the Hypospray is a non-invasive medical device used to inject liquids into the patient's body without a needle being used and was typically administered through the neck.

    The Hypospray will even work through clothing, and can be used on multiple patients without the worry of spreading unknown alien infections. After all, you never know where those Klingons have been.

    The Hypospray is Dr Leonard McCoys' favourite piece of medical kit.

    The Hypospray could even penetrate an EV Suit in case of emergencies.

  • Science Fact:


    Originally invented by Aaron Ismach in 1960, the Jet Injector uses a pressurised high intensity jet of injection liquid, which pierces the patient's skin, forsaking the need for a needle.

    The World Health Organisation has removed their support due to risks of disease transmission, despite only a small number of incidents reported. It would appear medical regulations in the 22nd century were not as strict as our own today.

    It has been rumoured that if the Hypospray technology was not available to Dr Leonard McCoy he would have fainted, being among the small percentage of Doctors to suffer from trypanophobia, or a fear of needles.

  • Science Fiction:


    Emitting a burst of energy and capable of being set to either "stun" or "kill", Phasers were the primary weapons assigned to the crew of the USS Enterprise.

    Small hand-held Phasers were used alongside bigger, more powerful Phaser rifles deployed to security personnel, whilst the Starship's Phasers could be used as an anti-missile device. The Enterprise's Phaser is 8 times as powerful as our own most powerful nuclear weapon.

    Depending on the size of the Phaser, they are capable of destroying asteroids, cities and even continents.

    Japanese Scientists have managed to create the world's first "phonom laser", blasting out sound waves. The technology is still in its infancy, so we wouldn't suggest relying on the Japanese "Phaser" when coming up against a Klingon Disruptor.

  • Science Fact:

    Laser Weapons System (LaWS)

    Developed by the U.S. Navy, the Laser Weapon System, or LaWS, is due to be mounted aboard the USS Ponce (named after Ponce in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) early in 2014, two years ahead of schedule due to the effectiveness of the weapon.

    Each LaWS costs over £21 million to build, but less than 50p to fire. This is compared to one tactical Tomahawk missile which costs £95,000 each. So the more the LaWS is used, the greater the saving! Furthermore, it would only take 5 minutes and 14 seconds of sustained fire from the LaWS to pierce the Starship Enterprise's shields and blow up the ship. That's an expenditure of just £157! Although one blast of the Enterprise's Phaser would take 0.68 seconds to destroy a modern day battleship.

    The US Air Force developed a non-lethal laser rifle prototype for 'dazzling', but the Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response (PHaSR) system was dropped.


Star Trek Generations

Earth Space Dock


  • Tractor Beam

  • The Replicator

  • Science Fiction:


    The VISOR provided the USS Enterprise's blind chief engineer Geordi La Forge with a sense of sight, scanning the electromagnetic spectrum and transmitting the visual signals back to the brain via the optic nerves.

    Whilst the device does not reproduce normal human vision, it does allow the wearer to perceive energy phenomena invisible to the naked human eye, as well as infrared radiations. Currently we don't even have hearing aids that will allow us to hear as many frequencies as a dog.

    La Forge's VISOR was replaced with Occular Implants or Cybernetic Eyes in the year 2373. The technology for Bionic Vision through cybernetic contact lenses has already arrived. Furthermore prototypes are being tested as we speak!

    La Forge's VISOR caused him constant pain which could not be treated without interrupting the visual sensory relay to his brain.

    The Cybernetic Eyes were therefore a welcome upgrade.

    VISOR stands for "Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement'.

  • Science Fact:

    Google Glass

    Google Glass utilises voice commands in order to bring up simple functions such as search, navigation, photography and messaging.

    You can even share what you're looking at via a live feed! The Glass's screen is so small, that it would take 32,560 Glass screens to make up the size of the Enterprise's ViewScreen.

    Likened to the Enterprise's Universal Translator, Google Glass will also translate a sentence for its user, vocalising the translation out loud into the appropriate language. Useful for ordering food abroad, although the jury's still out on Google Glass as a fashion statement.

    If you ever pass through a black hole and find yourself aboard a Federation Space Station of the future, Glass's face recognition software could help you to identify the many different races of the Star Trek universe, with the translator allowing you to ask which direction 2013 was in.

    A team of 60 scientists at Australia's Monash University are developing a Bionic eye that could help restore vision to the partially sighted through a camera mounted on a pair of glasses wirelessly connected to a brain implant chip attached to the visual cortex.

  • Science Fiction:

    Tractor Beam

    A Tractor Beam is used by Starships and Space Stations to exercise control over an objects movements by way of attenuated linear graviton beam.

    Once an object has been "tractored', it can be frozen in space, or have its position altered.

    If the Enterprise's Tractor Beam was placed on the back of a Bugatti Veyron Supersport, you would need 1,265 Supersport's to tow the US Navy's now retired aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise (on wheels) at a speed of 1 metre per second.

    Whilst tractor beams were typically only used at sub-warp speeds to tow a vulnerable ship to safety, it could also be used at warp speed.

    Today's equivalent would be an Audi S4 towing a caravan at its top speed of 155mph completely securely.

    Our own equivalent Tractor Beam needs a lot more research before it is capable of towing a Malteser, let alone a Starfleet Starship.

  • Science Fact:

    Optical Transport

    Finally a real life Tractor Beam! Well not quite. In fact, with Optical Transport only selective particles can be pulled by light beams, drawing an object towards a light beam.

    If the power of Optical Transport was placed into a handheld device like a smartphone, you would need 28 billion smartphones to be able to pull Lieutenant Uhura towards you.

    The universe's most powerful known magnetic force is the neutron star "magnetar" (or to use its scientific name, Soft Gamma Repeater 1806-20), with enough magnetic force to stop a train from 250,000 miles away. That's 10x the Earth's circumference.

    Lynx purported to have created the equivalent to a human tractor beam, called the "Lynx Effect'; scientists have since largely discredited this claim.

  • Science Fiction:

    The Replicator

    An advancement from the 23rd century food synthesizer from the original series, the 24th century Replicator was capable of creating objects.

    The Replicator rearranges subatomic particles in order to form the molecules needed to make the specified object, including food and water, as well being used on the Holodeck to accurately reproduce clothes.

    The Replicator is limited by its inability to create complex quantum structures, such as living beings or gold. So in the future you will still have to find work and socialise with the opposite sex.

  • Science Fact:

    3D Printing

    The first working 3D printer was created in 1984, and the first published account of a printed solid model was made in 1981 by Hideo Kodama, however it has been vastly improved since then.

    3D printers allow you to create a three-dimensional object from a digital design, printing layers ranging in thickness from 16 micrometres to 0.1 millimetres at a time to build up an object.

    We already have the technology to let us print Next Generation Federation uniforms. You would need around 9 million strands to make one full size male uniform.

    Construction time can range from a couple of hours, to several days depending on the complexity of the object.

    At the moment, the Replicator is probably more advanced than our 3D printing systems, as it could rearrange subatomic particles to molecule particles to molecules and arrange those molecules into any object, something that we are very far off ever doing.

    However, similar to the Replicator's initial use, to create meals, NASA are currently testing out 3D printers for making food, and their first test will be in creating pizza, as it is built up in layers, but also requires different flavours and nutrients to form it.

    If NASA manages to create food from a 3D printer, the opportunities to make varied meals from the printer will be huge, and it could reach out into whole new markets such as clothing and furniture.


Alternate Timeline

London, Earth

  • TurboLift

  • Control Interface

  • Environmental Suit (EV Suit)

  • Science Fiction:


    The Federation Turbolifts allow high speed passage throughout Starships and Space Stations through Turboshafts.

    Turbolifts can travel horizontally as well as vertically, enabling even the furthest corners of the Starship to be accessed.

    According to scientists, to dream that a lift is going sideways means that your everyday efforts are proving either futile or counterproductive and you are going nowhere. If you had this dream in the future, it would definitely be interpreted differently by Dr Leonard McCoy, who doubles up as the Enterprise's psychologist.

    Late in the 23rd century, the Turbolift's touch interface was replaced by a voice command operation, whereas it only took Apple four years to introduce us to Siri!

  • Science Fact:

    Taipei 101 lift

    Skyscrapers were not possible without the invention of the lift due to the impractical number of stairs.

    In 1852 Elisha Otis introduced the safety elevator at the firm Maise & Burns for the first time.

    The high speed observation deck elevators accelerate to a world-record breaking speed of 1010 meters per minute, or 38mph. That is nearly 14 times slower than the Enterprise's Turbolift.

    Special features include cabin pressure control to help passengers adapt to rapidly changing levels of air pressure.

    The downwards journey actually goes slower than the upward journey, accelerating to 600 meters per second. Terminal velocity of a free falling human is around 120mph.

    In 2012, Obayashi Corporation announced that in 38 years it could build a space elevator using carbon nanotube technology.

    Their elevator would be designed to carry a maximum of 30 people at a speed of 125 miles per hour.

    However with plans to extend 60,000 miles into space, it would mean the trip would take 8 days to complete…

  • Science Fiction:

    Control Interface

    Computers and equipment aboard Federation Starships and Space Stations can be operated through touch control interfaces as well as voice commands, which became more common place throughout Starships in the 23rd century.

    It has been estimated that you would need the equivalent of 19,876 quad core i7 processors to run such a system!

    Control Interfaces can also operate remotely through PADDs (Personal Access Display Device), which are hand held computer touch interfaces. In other words, a tablet.

  • Science Fact:

    Touch Screen Desktop Computers

    E.A. Johnson is credited with the invention of capacitive touch screens in 1965, publishing a paper on its uses for air traffic control.

    Now common place, touch computers such as the Dell XPS 18 allow the usability of a desktop, as well as offering portability. However Rolltop are pioneering ultra-portable roll up laptops which will be available in the next 10 years.

    Gesture control as sampled in the Samsung S4, could replace touch in the future, with users swiping and pinching without actually touching the screen.

    The latest in portable computing is the Smart Watch, with the Pebble watch leading the field. Rumours are also building over Samsung and Apple smart watch projects.

  • Science Fiction:

    Environmental Suit (EV Suit)

    Also known as a pressure suit, the EV Suit offers Federation crew members protection from hostile environments such as deep space, radiation and extreme temperatures.

    The EV Suit also offers protection in the form of body armour, offering housing for weapons such as Phasers and folding Katana swords.

    The EV Suit also includes a high tension parachute. We have had parachutes dating back to the renaissance period.

    Thruster Suits allow Starfleet personnel to navigate in Space. These are vastly superior to our equivalent Jetpacks, which you would definitely not want to try and operate in space.

  • Science Fact:

    Red Bull Stratos Pressure Suit

    Manufactured by the David Clark Company, Felix Baumgartner's fully pressurised suit protected Felix from freezing, whilst also preventing his blood from boiling due to the extreme altitude.

    The suit is also capable of operating successfully at temperatures as low as minus 68 degrees Celsius.

    The suit allowed Felix to break the world record for BASE jumping, reaching a speed of 843.6 mph, jumping from a distance of 24.24 miles above Earth.

    Current spacesuits are able to protect astronauts from direct sunlight reaching temperatures 250 Fahrenheit! EV suits however can withstand the temperatures of planetary magma chambers (1300 °F to 2400 °F).


TM, ® & Copyright © 2013 by Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. | © Copyright 2013

Join us as we boldly go where no man has before and beam up to three replica Enterprise bridges, carefully re-created using original Paramount Star Trek footage, screen stills and archive images. Once you've clicked 'Engage' you'll be able to beam your way to the Earth Space Dock from the Next Generation, to the Drydock from the Original Series or London, Earth in Alternate Reality.

Once there, you'll be able to discover how many light years we are away from inventing real-world equivalents of the famous Star Trek technology! Explore how close we are to replicating La Forge's VISOR or Dr Leonard McCoy's favourite piece of medical kit. Compare how touch-screen computers of today match up to the Starship's Control Interface! Not only that, but it also features the original and iconic Star Trek sounds and images, so you'll soon feel part of Captain Kirk's crew!

How it Works!

To begin exploration through the Navigraphic press 'ENGAGE' (above) or check out our video teaser first to get a preview of how the Navigraphic works.

  • Once aboard the USS Enterprise, use the navigation buttons or click to select which bridge to beam to...
  • Once you've made your choice, press GO and warp will engage!
  • From here explore each 'Science Fiction' tech...
  • And each real world tech equivalent, by clicking the 'Science Fact' button (on the right hand side of the screen)
  • To beam to another bridge, press CLOSE then BACK and do it all again!
  • Don't forget to share with your friends by tweeting or Like'ing the Star Trek Navigraphic and make sure you enter our 'Where would you boldly go next?' Competition to be in with a chance of winning a Star Trek bundle worth £1,000, a 32GB iPad or a 500GB PlayStation 3!

So what did J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof and Gene Roddenberry get right? What Trek tech made it from the big screen into the real world?

'Captain, what are you waiting for, beam me up Magpie!'

Where would you boldly go? Star Trek Competition

We're also giving you the chance to WIN some unbelievable Star Trek prize bundles! It's so EASY to enter and you could be in with a chance of winning a Star Trek bundle worth £1,000, a 32GB iPad or a 500GB PlayStation 3! To find out more, head over to our Competition Page and submit your entry now... Good Luck Captain!

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