Science Fiction sometimes comes up with remarkable ideas for devices which would make our lives easier. Or, at the very least, much cooler. Until we get a faster than light drive or a light saber, the following will have to do. Read on, and enjoy the future of fantasy today.
The one big gotcha about visiting an alien race (Dr. Hawking's [[xref:http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/space/article7107207.ece|concerns]] notwithstanding) is the language barrier. In the Star Wars universe, communication is done the old fashioned way: learn the language. With Star Trek and Doctor Who, universal translator devices are what will get you talking. Here on Earth in the 21st century, Voxtec has created the [[xref:http://www.voxtec.com/phraselator/|Phraselator]], a hand-held device used by the U.S. military that translates 40 different languages. None of them Klingon. Yet.