Google, like most tech companies, have lots of concepts and ideas for new products that never get out of the prototype stage. One of them, as it turns out, was a communicator badge that worked much like the one that the crew of the Enterprise NCC-1701 D used in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
In an article on TIME magazine's website on the current and future state of Google, it reported on the project, led by Amit Singhal, the senior vice president and software engineer at the company, and a major Star Trek fan:
It's no surprise that Singhal eventually combined his two passions in the form of a prototype wearable modeled after the communicator that Captain Picard and company use to interact with the Enterprise. The Bluetooth-enabled lapel pin, which Google has never before discussed publicly, is equipped with a microphone and is activated with a simple tap. The device, which could output sound through a speaker or accompanying headphones, allows users to talk to Google without having to fish out their cell phones.
"I always wanted that pin," says Singhal. "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 device never made it past the testing phase, but it shows the extent to which Google engineers are willing to go to find a natural new way to search.
Would you have bought a Star Trek: TNG-style communicator badge from Google? Let us know in the comments.