Article VFRK Google built (and then canceled) a “Star Trek Communicator” prototype

Google built (and then canceled) a “Star Trek Communicator” prototype

by
Ron Amadeo
from Ars Technica on (#VFRK)
google_prototype-640x427.jpg

Enlarge / Google SVP Amit Singhal wearing the prototype device. (credit: Time)

Google loves itself some Star Trek, and a report from Time says that the company-wide fandom led it to prototype a version of the Star Trek combadge. A chest-mounted Bluetooth speaker-and-microphone could allow the user to talk to Google Voice Search, just like a TNG-style communicator. The lapel pin paired with a smartphone, and tapping on the device would activate the microphone, just like in Star Trek.

Sadly, the device never left the prototype stage. Amit Singhal, senior vice president of Search at Google told Time "I always wanted that pin. You just ask it anything and it works. That’s why we were like, ‘Let’s go prototype that and see how it feels.’" The report doesn't say why the device never turned into a fully fledged product.

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A close up of the device. (credit: Time)

Time managed to score a picture of the prototype, which looks to only be a black plastic circle that didn't get too much external design effort put into it. In the close-up version, you can see holes for a speaker and a power light, along with what looks to be a tiny (and legally distinct from Star Trek) rocket ship.

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