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]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 11 comments. Add yours.

LazyStarGazer says:

(Jean-Luc Picard, speaking to Steve Jobs)
"Make it so."

DavidVlogs says:

Always fun to seem dreams cross the line into reality.

Mazon says:

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)
Mazon

Xultar says:

Uhuras headset is our Bluetooth of today.
I wish we'd get some LCARS backgrounds and apps

congressdj says:

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.

Keisuke says:

Too bad any effort to modify the interface to look like a PADD would be rejected

GrandmaBetty says:

Now all we need is a transporter and a tricorder and I'll be happy.

mike says:

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

beats says:

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 bad.beats by dre