• July 21, 2016

Trekkie or Not, You Can’t Miss the New Star Trek Movie

HPE teams with Star Trek Beyond to envision the future.

Movies don’t always get technology of the future right. Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, completely missed personal mobile communications. In a scene aboard the space station, the character Dr. Heywood R. Floyd steps into a videophone booth to call home.

And in the 1979 science fiction horror film Alien, the Nostromo, a massive circa-2101 commercial deep space ship, is operated by DOS-based computer systems with text-based CRT displays and keyboards. Such are the challenges of accurately visualizing future technology trends and breakthroughs.

Yet when the concepts come from a technology leader, we’re talking a much more believable end result. Hewlett Packard Enterprise has teamed up with Paramount Pictures to develop a vision of technology 250 years into the future for the new Star Trek installment: Star Trek Beyond. It features futuristic technologies developed exclusively for the film and inspired by HPE’s The Machine project. If you haven’t seen the commercial, check it out. 

Frontiers in Time

The technologies emerged after secret collaborations between the filmmakers and an HPE creative team of researchers, engineers, and industrial designers. HPE teams presented 10 different future technology concepts that might someday be powered by The Machine. Paramount selected three, each cloaked in pre-release secrecy.

The first is the quarantine, a futuristic data center described as a fusion of hardware and software enabling all of the possibilities of data science and IoT. There’s also the diagnostic wrap, a data harnessing technology, and the book, a type of dynamic reference device. While each of these concepts represents future visions, they’re rooted in developments HPE hopes to introduce much sooner than two-and-a-half centuries down the road. 

Future in The Machine

HPE’s The Machine project is dedicated to disrupting and reengineering current computer architecture, a design fraught with 60 years of accumulated inefficiencies and compromises. Think of The Machine as a lightning-fast analytics platform with hundreds of petabytes of memory. It remembers everything about your history, informs real-time decision-making, and enables you to predict and respond to any future event.

Fueling its power are several groundbreaking technologies. Instead of copper, it uses light or photonics for data and command transmission. It also uses electronic components called memristors. Envisioned as the fourth fundamental element in the electronic circuit after resistors, capacitors, and inductors, memristors create super-fast high-capacity memory chips that consume less energy. They can also fundamentally transform the computing process itself.

Unlike transistors, which are based on the zero-one binary code, memristors use multiple levels between zero and one: zero, one-half, one-third, and one-quarter, for example. This could enable computers to function in ways similar to the synapses in the brain.

Free from the constraints of zeros and ones, computers based on memristors could learn and make decisions, creating an artificial intelligence paradigm resembling human cognition. And what’s more Trekkie than that?

Check out Star Trek Beyond in U.S. theaters July 22, 2016. Find global release dates.


Like this story? Read about HPE’s vision for the future of healthcare.