Not sure about ion engines. On a manned craft, massive ion engines will get you somewhere eventually if you can wait for them to speed up and then slow down again. I don't really think of them as in the era of star trek, even though they can reach fast speeds from our 2016 perspective. Something like an impulse drive from star trek, something that gets to speed quickly and can stop in the same time. How long until we discover/create something like that I wonder?
Yes, we haven't really moved into the early stages of Star Trek stuff yet I think. The fact it does have popular influence is one I welcome and like. We will one day have like for like star trek tech both big and small, what comes and when though is much harder to say.
An actual star trek tricorder might still be a decade or two away maybe, but hints show we are edging closer to it.
Got to love the classic leather bound tricorder, as shown off here by the lovely Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax.
There is a lot of tech we have seen in Star Trek's over the years. DS9 and Voyager had some of the best. Although some of the tech showing in 'Enterprise' (Jonathan Archer) was good, inc the jumping forward in time he does.
Warp engines or anything near warp, who knows how many decades or centuries that might be. I'm guessing we would need to lick gravity plating first so large ships can be built and occupied in a safer way. So, how long is a piece of string! Won't be in any of our lifetimes. Unless we come across our very own Unobtanium, deep inside some near earth asteroid or comet. That would be cool to see that... but unlikely. But still cool!
Star Trek's Enterprise turns 50 and still no sign of a warp drive. - theregister.co.uk