Star Trek production artists talk iPad

Ars Technica's Chris Foresman has a terrific interview up with Star Trek production artists Michael Okuda, Denise Okuda, and Doug Drexler about how they conceptualized iPad-like devices for TV and movies... some 23 years ago. Their device was known as the PADD (Personal Access Display Devices):

Drexler said that to him, the iPad is "eerily similar" to the PADDs used in Star Trek. "We always felt that the classic Okuda T-bar graphic was malleable, and that you could stretch and rearrange it to suit your task, just like the iPad," he said. "The PADD never had a keyboard as part of its casing, just like the iPad. Its geometry is almost exactly the same—the corner radius, the thickness, and overall rectangular shape."

"It's uncanny to have a PADD that really works," Drexler said, unlike the non-functional props made for the TV series and later films. "The iPad is the true Star Trek dream," Drexler told Ars.

[Ars Technica]

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Apple manager caught in elaborate iPhone and iPod accessory kickback scheme

Next up →

Installing Frash on a Jailbroken iPhone

Reader comments

Star Trek production artists talk iPad


The dya I saw the very first photos of the iPad I said it was the Star Trek PADD come to life.
More items we used today were inspired by Star Trek than were thought possible, just take a look at your cell phone(communicator)

Remember the Voyager episode where a time traveler from the 29th century crashes on 21st century earth and a young hippie steals and exploits the technology to change/start our present digital/information age? Well, I think that young hippie was Steve Jobs.

funny they never seemed to have handheld video conferencing in star trek, a la FaceTime.

You may be master of your own actions, but relating to the kind of others will you currently have according to react rather than act and since that also brings pleasant surprises sometimes is undoubtedly that perhaps not so by dre