Today was the long-anticipated introduction of Apple Computers new Tablet device. Apple’s new ‘iPad’ is being touted as a revolutionary device that will shake up the industry, just like the iPod and the iPhone. And when Apple CEO Steve jobs made his big announcement and showed off the multimedia capability, he showed the Star Trek movie as an example. Of course, the notion of a PADD computer is nothing new to Trek. [UPDATE: Brent Spiner weighs in on the iPad/PADD connection]
Apple introduces its PADD, the iPad
The Apple iPad was introduced today with Apple CEO Steve Jobs making one of his famous speeches in front of a giant screen showing off the new tech that everyone is supposed to immediately desire, and admittedly the iPad appears to be pretty cool.
Steve Jobs reveals the iPad
Tech site Endgadget liveblogged with photos, including this one showing off the ‘magic’ of playing movies on the iPad. And to do so he showed the new Star Trek movie.
For more in Apples iPad, check out Endgadget’s first hands on article.
Apple has also put up their video demo at apple.com
Star Trek has been using Tablets/PADDs since the 60s
Of course Apple is not the first company to offer a tablet PC, like they were not the first with a smart phone or with an MP3 player, but their market dominance will likely make them a leader in the category soon enough. But the tablet computer is yet another piece of technology that has lived on Star Trek for years. Since the 60s Star Trek showed that tablet computers were part of the future, which were called PADDs in Star Trek TNG tehno-jargon (Personal Access Data Display).
Uhura with her tablet from 1960s "Star Trek"
Every incarnation of Star Trek from the original Star Trek in the 60s, to all four of the spin-offs (Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, & Enterprise), used some form of PADD or tablet computer. They were seen as part of Starfleet and alien technology. Even the 2009 Star Trek movie continued the tradition of the PADD on board the USS Enterprise.
PADD from "Deep Space Nine"
A PADD (held by James Cawley) on board the new USS Enterprise in 2009’s "Star Trek"
For more on the PADD in Star Trek, see the Memory Alpha article on the subject.
UPDATE: Spiner Tweets on Trek/iPad connection
Star Trek The Next Generation’s ultimate piece of technology, Brent Spiner, has also noticed the iPad/PADD Trek connection. He has made a couple of posts to his Twitter about it today:
@brentspiner: Hey, I just heard that Apple is coming out with some kind of tablet. Wanted you to be the first to know.
@brentspiner: Didn’t Captain Picard used to play with a pad like that in his ready room? STAR TREK STRIKES AGAIN!!!
@brentspiner: Just heard a rumor about itransporter. Wanted you to be the first to know.
Thanks to Chris for the Endgadget link tip