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

Google logoGoogle 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. Thats why we were like, Lets go prototype that and see how it feels." The report doesn't say why the device never turned into a fully fledged product.

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

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.

This isn't the first time we've seen Star Trek-inspired products from the company. Google loves comparing its "Knowledge Graph" answer service to an early version of the Star Trek Computer. In fact, Google Voice Search on Android is codenamed "Project Majel," for Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, the voice of the Star Trek computer and wife of series creator Gene Roddenberry. Over in the Google Life Sciences division, Google's healthcare group is working on a device that reads nanoparticles in a person's bloodstream to measure their health, which they refer to as a "real-life tricorder." Also, wearing Google Glass kind of made you look like the Borg.

Unfortunately, since it was just a prototype, the device won't be a real product. Sadness, engage.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Google

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