‘Star Trek’ app: Does your iPad need an Enterprising spirit?

July 11, 2011 | 6:52 a.m.
padd2 Star Trek app: Does your iPad need an Enterprising spirit?

PADD prop (Roddenberry Productions)

Let’s face it, the Personal Access Display Devices (PADDs), those tablet computers that Geordi LaForge and Dr. Beverly Crusher were always carrying around on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” were essentially Starfleet-issued iPads.  Actually, they weren’t even as tricked out as the iPad — no video chat, no 3G (because they were always handing them around) and by all appearances, not a single game, despite the obvious need for Angry Romulan Birds of Prey  during slow shifts down in engineering.

So it only makes sense that CBS Interactive is launching an app today that essentially turns an iPad into a PADD. The PADD app features an interface that’s an exact reproduction of the LCARS interface used on the various “Star Trek” series. But instead of transmitting data and order for Starfleet officers, it features tons of information from the shows, including aliens, ships, technologies and episode guides. It is also integrated into CBS’ Star Trek Facebook page and Twitter feed.

There’s even a computer voice similar to the one made famous by the late Majel Barrett Roddenberry.

“Back when the PADD first appeared on ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation,’ none of us imagined that today we’d be able to hold the real thing in our hands,” said Michael Okuda, who designed the computer interface design for “ST: TNG” and its big-screen spinoffs.  “But the Star Trek PADD app, running on your iPad, is an actual miniature, handheld, touch-sensitive, 24th-century-style computer screen.”

The app was made by developer ArcTouch and costs $4.99. My take on it? Well, if this is in your left hand and there’s an iPhone with the phaser app in your right, you’re the coolest cadet at the academy.  But then again, I own all 11 “Star Trek” movies on DVD.

— Ben Fritz


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10 Responses to ‘Star Trek’ app: Does your iPad need an Enterprising spirit?

  1. Courtney Martin says:

    A link might be useful

  2. archer says:

    Beverly Crusher? Really, you went with Beverly Crusher?

  3. Alex says:

    Best reason for having an iPad yet ;-)

  4. FunAdvice.com says:

    This just sends boring old iPads up to Geek Heaven, doesn't it? I'm not a geek (by my standards, any way), but I find this … fascinating.

  5. Guinea Pig Zed says:

    Loading now. Resistance is futile.

  6. LadyLi1 says:

    This is too cool! E-mailing my iPad-owning daughter as I type. And yes I own all the movies too.

  7. greekgeek says:

    Okay, now I REALLY want an iPad.

    Confession time: the first website interface I designed in 1993 was loosely based on LCARs. Not the same colors, not the same fonts (we couldn't do fonts on websites back then) but I made a dashboard which looked suspiciously like Data should be playing piano with it and singing "little life forms."

  8. Sage on the Hudson says:

    The "Newspad" in "2001: A Space Odyssey,", that displayed the BBC's interview with the Discovery astronauts was REALLY the original iPad in scenes filmed way, way, way back in 1966.

    So, how come Steve Jobs & Co. have never come up with a user-friendly direct descendant of HAL 9000?

  9. Sam says:

    well at least he didn't say he had them all on VHS cassette :D

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