Teleportation hasn’t made many strides since we last talked about it. However, a Japanese firm, Team Open Meals, has brought another fan-favorite aspect of the Star Trek universe into real life.
According to Nerd Remedy, the first food replicator has been developed. Well, it’s on its way to being functional, at least. In an effort to create the real-life version of the box that gave Captain Picard his Earl Grey tea, Team Open Meals successfully created a replicator that can replicate loosely pieced together 5mm blocks of flavored gelatin. Yum.
While this may not seem particularly newsworthy or impressive, every scientific breakthrough started as a loosely pieced together block of gelatin — literally or figuratively. The Nestle Institute of Health Services also started working on a project like this, with their program Iron Man in 2014. The purpose of Iron Man is to treat vitamin and nutrient deficiency. And also because having a functioning food replicator would be rad.
Colored blocks of food have a place in the Star Trek universe. In Star Trek: The Original Series, replicators, which were referred to a “food synthesizers” at the time, made colorful little food cubes not unlike what Team Open Meals has accomplished. Replicators were much more advanced on The Next Generation, though. Star Trek has made all kinds of predictions, some of which have come true, so maybe this is the next one.