Star Trek fans and cosplayers, do you want a Next Generation comm badge that actually works? ThinkGeek has the solution for you. The novelty item retailer opened up pre-orders for a Bluetooth-enabled badge on Thursday, and it goes on sale in November for $80.
Think of it basically as a Bluetooth headset in the familiar communicator shape, because that’s what it is. Of course, it makes the familiar chirp every time you press it, and allows you to access functions on your phone such as answering/ending calls, playing/pausing audio, or accessing Siri, Google Now, or Cortana.
ThinkGeek partnered with audio company FameTek, which makes several other Star Trek- and Doctor Who-themed audio accessories including bluetooth speakers and over-the-ear headphones. The communicator runs on an internal battery that provides about 10 hours of use per charge.
One thing it can’t do is sound like the computer from Star Trek, which was the voice of Majel Barrett, Gene Roddenberry’s wife. For that, we’ll have to wait a little longer, though comments from the Roddenberry family seem to indicate her famous voice may make it to a virtual assistant near you quite soon.
If a communicator isn’t enough for you, ThinkGeek also offers a remote that looks like the phasers from the original series and another Bluetooth microphone, this time in the shape of the original communicator. There’s even a USB drive in the shape of an isolinear chip — although we’ll venture to guess it doesn’t hold anywhere near the amount of data the chips on the show were supposed to.
A real-life comm badge is only some of what we’ve seen so far. With Star Trek’s 50th anniversary this week, there’s been a lot of news and events marking the milestone. Facebook has temporarily Trek-ified its mentions, while Star Trek Online announced it was finally headed to the video game console. We even got to play with the first VR Star Trek game, and loved it.
In other words, it’s a good time to be a Trekkie.