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Steve Jobs Must Be a Star Trek Fan - Captain Picard Has An iPad

April 2, 2010

The iPad definitely looks like something straight out of science fiction, and yet in two days it will be available to consumers. Well the idea didn't just come out of thin air, and it seems like Mr. Jobs is a fan of Star Trek, and in particular The Next Generation. While channel surfing I saw a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode with James Doohan, aka Scotty. After watching for a couple of minutes the camera is on the captain's quarters and Captain Picard is holding a device that shares nearly the exact same form factor as an iPad. It looks like Picard rotated it to landscape maybe for a particular app that looks better in that perspective, maybe tweetdeck or netflix? There have been a lot of thin touch screen devices in science fiction, and particularly in star trek, but this one takes the cake. I wouldn't be surprised if this set piece isn't what the Apple R&D team used as a model in designing the iPad. Now if you know about Star Trek, even a little, you know that there is a massive intelligent computer system on board the enterprise. That whole system isn't in the handheld devices, but rather a simpler piece of technology for accessing ship's logs, visualizing the nearest solar system, or reading Moby Dick. Isn't that what an iPad is like, it's not full on Mac OSX, but that doesn't mean it's not a great device to have. See the clip from the episode referred above:

As a side note for the Star Trek fans, there is a $0.99 iPad app for you. Captain's log is an electronic diary that has the Star Trek theme with a an exact replica of the ship's interface. You can see it here: /ipad-app/363299583

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