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.