"To me it's just an undefined upright form, standing in a wild visual frenzy." - Jean-Luc Picard on Geordi LaForge's VISOR's visual output interpretation of Will Riker, "Heart of Glory"
The visual acuity transmitter is one of those pieces of Star Trek
technology that was introduced and then forgotten about, left to crop up in a single old rerun from time to time. The transmitter was part of Geordi LaForge
and it transmitted a visual signal of the VISOR
's output to a nearby monitor, allowing people with normal sight to see the world as LaForge sees it as long as LaForge stays within the short transmission range. In the one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation
in which it is utilized, "Heart of Glory
", the transmitter is used to allow the bridge crew of the USS Enterprise-D
to watch an away mission
to a damaged Talarian
freighter on the ship's main viewscreen. Oddly enough, the use of this device did nothing to further the episode's plot. It is not used to save the day, nor does it lead to the discovery of important clues. LaForge simply turned it on and the bridge crew (and we, the viewer) watched as Captain Picard
marvelled at the wild color spectra sequencing effect that supposedly made up what LaForge "sees". Once it was time for the plot to commence, the device "shorted out" due to sensory overload. It has never been mentioned again on any Star Trek
LaForge's point of view was seen three times more over the years, but never with the transmitter. In Star Trek Generations Klingon sisters Lursa and B'tor kidnapped the engineer and fitted a covert monitoring device to his VISOR to transmit his visual output to their ship. This output was seen as normal sight and was not touched up with special visual effects. Note that this is the only other time that characters were able to see what LaForge sees. For other instances of showing his point of view the production staff chose to simply show a first person camera angle, showing the audience what LaForge is seeing instead of showing the characters in the episode. In "The Mind's Eye" viewers saw LaForge's VISOR output as a green-tinted, filtered, and fuzzy image. Star Trek: First Contact provided a similar shot with a look at what LaForge's new bionic eye implants could do, once again featuring the image as normal sight with a zoom lense capability and heat detection depicted as a red glow.