Now, I'm not one for great moments of insight but, this week, I think, I had one. Out of the blue. And in Tesco, of all places. I realised that a lot of the modern sci-fi stuff that went beep and looked cool in those sci-fi visions of the future is actually here, right now and we haven't even noticed.
So what triggered this moment? A nice Tesco lady walking the aisles with a stock-taking gizmo - just like that thing Captain Kirk used to always be handed on the Bridge by some decorative (and never-seen-again) crew member. And this Star Trek tablet was itself, by all accounts, the fore-runner of yesterday's PDA's and our dearly beloved shiny iPads.
So what else have we got ? Quite apart from an ex-Shuttle named in honour of the series, we have the mobile phone (= communicator - "Kirk to Enterprise, come in Enterprise"), SIRI, the voice recognition software in new iPhones (= Star Trek's talking computer -"working") and even Michael Jones, Chief technologist of Google Earth, has cited the Star Trek Tricorder's mapping capability as one inspiration in the development of Google Earth.
One curious thing though - there is no sign of any social networking in the Star Trek version of the 23rd century. Now either their advanced society had outgrown the use of Facebook or Twitter (rather like the way they were meant to have given up money) or - they were just too busy bashing aliens to worry about tweeting #Klingons Now Attacking With Fricking Lasers.