Computers and technology have always been a big part of Star Trek, and now two new licensees are offering Trekkies the chance to customize their own technology with Star Trek. Firstly Hyperdesk is offering a new Original Series theme for your Windows PC. And Coveroo is offers a series of laser etched backs for your cell phones and mobile devices. TrekMovie takes a closer look with reviews both below.
Hyperdesk Star Trek The Original Series Windows Desktop Theme
The Skins Factory is a world leader in user interface, skin and theme designs, and their Hyperdesk division have been making a number of popular desktop themes, including many licensed themes (for Disney and others). And now they have added Star Trek to their roster. Hyperdesk offers fans the ability to customize their entire Windows XP environment with detailed and fun Star Trek icons and wallpapers. For $14.95, fans can download a program to all their personal computers that transforms the computing experience into a Trek themed wonderland. The program includes three Hypedesk themes based on the original Star Trek that changes the Windows environment into one of the Starfleet divisions, either Command (with yellow being the dominant color appropriately), Engineering (red), and Sciences (blue).
What is especially nice about Hyperdesk is its attention to detail. For example, the Help icon is McCoy’s medical equipment, or the MyVideos icon is of the desk monitors from the original show. Also great is that this a product with a purpose. It isn’t a collectible, it is a utility that makes computing fun. And according to Skins Factory CEO and Art Director Jeff Schader, they tried to stays "as close to canon as possible." A fan himself, Schader tells TrekMovie:
I went after the Star Trek license almost immediately after launching Hyperdesk, having been a Trek fan my entire life. It was a natural choice when it came to licensing properties for our desktop themes… stick with what you know….The idea behind the design of the actual Windows theme came after an hour-long conversation with the incredibly talented Mike Okuda. The idea was to take the look of the 1701’s bridge consoles which was made of black lacquer, the high gloss glass and buttons and blow it out over the whole desktop.
The Hyperdesk Star Trek Original Series Windows XP Theme includes:
- 30+ different icons
- 3 wallpaper designs (using the CBS Interactive ‘Remastered’ Enterprise model)
- Starfleet version of Yahoo! Widget audio remote program for Windows Media Player and iTunes which includes transporter sound fx and animation
- Windows User Account Images of the main characters
- Icon PNG files for use with dock applications
For more info and to purchase & download the theme – GOTO Hyperdesk.com.
For now, the program is only available for Windows XP, but Hyperdesk plans to release the TOS theme for Vista, PS3, PSP and possibly OS10. They are also looking into doing themes based on the new Star Trek movie, and The Next Generation (and maybe more Trek). More info and purchasing info at Hyperdesk.com
Coveroo Star Trek laser-etched mobile device customization
Coveroo is a product that replaces the back cover of cell phones and MP3 players with plates that have customizable Star Trek designs. Fans go to the Coveroo website and select their mobile device (and color) and then the design they want (with many available). Then for $19.95 Coveroo laser etches a customized back cover for your device and mails it off to you. Snap it on and you got yourself a Trekkified phone. You can also get a customized iPod, but because the backs of iPods are not removable, you have to order a new one from Coveroo.
Just a fraction of the ways you could customize your Blackberry
The choices of images that can be etched include an amazing variety that really allows for customization. In fact, many choices include the option of adding a logo or emblem to a character design. Some of the options include aliens or villains (The Borg, a Klingon, Ferengi, tribbles) and their emblems; the main characters of the original Star Trek (including the QUOGS); Starfleet emblems and technology; Mirror Universe icons, and many more etchings.
After selecting your device and design, Coveroo sends you a custom back for you to put onto your mobile device (backs pictured: BlackBerry Pearl 8110 -pink w/ Command Insignia & 1) Samsung U340 with Captain Kirk)
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Coveroo has a great product here, both because of the many options of characters and emblems from various versions of Star Trek, and the nicely detailed renderings. Like the Hyperdesk items, Coveroos have a purpose and utility to them and they would be nice and unusual gifts for fans.
For more info or to order your own ‘Coveroo’, GOTO Coveroo.com
Customizable = Smart
As a sociology professor, one of the main themes I discuss with my students is the notion that modern cultures are customizable experiences. from credit card designs to educational plans, from how people enjoy their favorite shows to Internet interactions (like MySpace and ITunes). In societies where this is the zeitgeist, it is appropriate that Star Trek products go customizable, and it is especially appropriate for your phone or computer with Star Trek’s technological narratives. It is also good to see Star Trek products like these which should appeal to that younger generation which (along with the new perfumes to QUOGS). Customizable technology products like Hyperdesk and Coveroo are good examples of this idea, as they are a new kind of Star Trek product that appeals to a variety of fans. What is great about both is that each company has embraced Star Trek in the design elements and theme-ing, unafraid to be funny or ironic (McCoy’s medical equipment icon = help, or communicator grill etchings to turn your phone into a communicator). This kind of hipness is something students and younger fans enjoy, and it has value to more mature fans. Star Trek is back, and now its customizable.