Anybody check out the History Channel program "How William Shatner Changed the World". It was very entertaining.
Basic premise is that Shatner as Captain Kirk inspired generations of inventors to develop the devices and concepts they saw on Star Trek while growing up. Of course Shatner, tongue in cheek, takes full credit!
MRI's, Cell Phones, Ipod, PDA's., Ion propulsion, laser surgery etc. The guy who came up with the real player and mp3 player as well as the ipod lists Star Trek as his motivation. This same guy has a 3-d interactive game in development that is very similar to the holodeck in next generation. Based on his track record look for it soon.
Same for the Motorola Scientist who invented the cell phone. He said to some guys the "communicator, was a fantasy...to us it was a goal". And then they invesnted it!
From a social stanpoint Shatner claims to have performed the first inter-racial kiss on television thereby defying social sterotypes. (I remember he not only kissed a hot black girl but a smokin hot green girl too). They also had the idea to add crewmembers from Russia and China during the 60's which made a bold political statement.
Pretty entertaining program...who knew Shatner was behind all this.