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Google actually made a Star Trek-style communicator prototype

In an effort to find new ways to perform internet searches, Google actually made a Star Trek-style communicator.

Published onNovember 23, 2015

The future is already here – we can talk to our mobile devices, deliver internet access through balloons in the sky, and even ride in self-driving vehicles. And just how do we know the future is here? One of the best ways to gauge the progress we’ve been making is by comparing our technological advancements with those featured in popular sci-fi shows, such as Star Trek. Sure, we’re still a ways off from teleportation and time travel, but wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a device similar to the Star Trek communicator that actually existed in real life?

According to Amit Singhal, senior vice president and software engineer at Google, in an interview with TIME, the Mountain View-based company made one in an effort to find new ways to perform internet searches.

The Star Trek-style communicator was made thanks to Singhal’s two main obsessions: search and Star Trek. He eventually combined his two passions in the form of a mock-up wearable device similar to the one Captain Picard and his crew used to interact with the Enterprise. The prototype was a Bluetooth-enabled lapel pin that was equipped with a microphone and could be activated with just a simple tap. It would then output sound through a built-in speaker (or with headphones), and would allow users to talk to Google without the need to get out their smartphones.

Google Search can now answer much more complex questions

“I always wanted that pin. You just ask it anything and it works,” said Singhal. “That’s why we were like, ‘Let’s go prototype that and see how it feels.'” The device unfortunately never made it past the testing phase. There’s no word as to why Google scrapped the project, unfortunately.

If Google actually released a Star Trek-style lapel pin that could be used to communicate with your smartphone, would you buy it? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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