Google built a prototype Star Trek 'Combadge' communicator

By Shawn Knight
Nov 23, 2015
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  1. Star Trek fans are all-too-familiar with the Combadge, a small wearable communications device attached to the lapel that allowed crew members to talk to each other as well as the ship’s computer. Turns out, Google made a prototype device based on this very design which unfortunately, never went any further.

    Amit Singhal, senior vice president of search at Google and huge Star Trek fan, revealed the device as part of a recent interview with Time. The executive said he always wanted a pin like that which prompted the team to create the prototype seen above.

    As you can see, the device didn’t get too far along in terms of aesthetics. The black circular wearable features a speaker, microphone, power light and what’s likely a button of some sort under Singhal’s fingers to activate communications. The device can use Bluetooth to send commands to another mobile device, Singhal said.

    It’s not clear why Google decided against further production of the wireless communicator although in reality, such a device wouldn’t be terribly practical.

    Without headphones (which, by the way, the Google device did allow for), it’d be next to impossible to hold a private conversation when in the presence of others. What’s more, one might look just as silly talking to their chest as they would wearing Google Glass out in public or chatting with their wrist watch.

    Nevertheless, the admission is further evidence that Google is willing to think outside the box and take a lot of risks in the name of creating new experiences.

    Permalink to story.

  2. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 632   +163

    No different from a "smart watch" which is possibly one of the dumber ideas I've seen in recent years.
    p51d007 likes this.
  3. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,136   +480

    I blame Di ck Tracy (sorry I had to add a space due to censorship, glad it's not my name)
  4. risc32

    risc32 TS Booster Posts: 186   +75

    But at least Tracy didn"t need a smart phone in his pocket for that watch to work. that guy with the shoe phone didn't need one either. current state of smart watches is just so lame.
  5. Snowden

    Snowden TS Member Posts: 68   +31

    Awesome, this should interact well with Pacemakers.
  6. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,291   +55

    Weren't flip phones communicators on the first star trek series? Looking for an elephant thru a microscope?
    Hexic and p51d007 like this.
  7. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 853   +352

    Yep, I still have my Motorola "StarTAC" cell phone from the late 90's.
  8. Hexic

    Hexic TS Addict Posts: 271   +127

    I also was of that belief, until I had the opportunity to use a LG G Watch R. After that, my opinions changed.

    It depends on your lifestyle, what you do, and how you could take advantage of such a device. It is certainly quite useful for some, myself included.

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