Posted by: A. C. Cockerill | August 5, 2011

Factoid #13: Companel

Factoid #13:

The companel is another device that appeared in many “Star Trek” TV shows and movies and will soon become a reality. The name comes from merging communications with panel. Although, computer plus panel would work, too. These flat, audio/video devices will be built into walls, counter and table surfaces, chairs’ armrests, windows, and the sides of buildings, making smart phones, e-readers, TVs, and laptop computers obsolete. No more lost cellphones!


  1. It always amazes me what technology we’ve come up with that was once thought of as science fictioin.

    • Hi Donna, You’re so right. And within our lifetime, we may even see versions of “Star Trek” medical tricorders and food replicators (desktop manufacturing). Exciting times are ahead. Cheers, Ashley

  2. I am having a really hard time wrapping my mind around all these technological advances! I still remembere when color TV came on the scene. We had decades to get used to that before high def burst on. Too much too fast! Or maybe I’m just too old! 🙂

    Fascinating to think about. And I will amaze all my friends when I tell them what I now know is coming!

    • Hi Jayne, I remember when TVs added color. But, thanks to emerging technologies that are currently in testing, it is possible many of us will live to 110-120 years. That means middle age hits between 55-60. It used to be 35-40, when we were growing up. But the near-future advance that excites me the most is desktop manufacturing. One example will be the food replicator (also shown on “Star Trek”). This device will help reduce and hopefully eliminate world hunger. Cheers, Ashley

  3. Like Donna said, I’m amazed by how “tools” once considered futuristic are now being used – and improved upon – in our lifetime. Though I’d moan and groan just like Dr. McCoy, I’d be really interested to see a real, live transporter. Imagine? Punch in a code and in a few seconds, you could be anywhere in the world. How cool would that be?!

    • Hi Debora,

      Okay, the transporter may be the last “Star Trek” technology we get. But even in the show, centuries from now, the transporter had issues. What we will get are self-driving cars (personal transports), much faster transports of all varieties (cross the Atlantic in a couple hours), space elevators into orbit, and three-dimensional highway systems. I also saw that roadways may soon be used for solar-energy collection as well as for cars and trucks. I’m not sure how they’ll handle the 3-D thing. Maybe they’ll use the upper level for solar and the lower highway decks for thermal-energy collection and/or exhaust-fumes recycling. Isn’t this fun! Even more so since we may actually see these advances.

      Cheers, Ashley

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