Skip to main content

Google once made, but never released, a Star Trek-style Communicator badge

google star trek communicator pin news amit singhai combadge
Remember how Captain Picard and other Enterprise crew members in Star Trek would talk to each other, or the ship’s computer, using a cool pin attached to their uniforms? It turns out, Google made its own version, where we could talk to the Google search tool. If you’re already on your way to the Google Play Store looking for this gadget, don’t bother, because although a prototype was made, it never went any further.

The revelation came from Google’s Amit Singhai, Senior Vice President of Search, in an interview with Time. “I always wanted that pin,” he told the publication, “You just ask it anything and it works. That’s why we were like, ‘Let’s go prototype that and see how it feels.’” Sadly, it obviously didn’t feel right, and the Communicator-style pin never went beyond the early test phase.

Related: Google starts Star Wars: The Force Awakens promotion

Singhai admits to being a massive Star Trek fan, and says the Google pin was not only inspired by, but also modeled after the one used in the TV shows and movies. It connected to another device using Bluetooth, had a built-in microphone, and only needed a tap to wake it up. The answers to questions posed would be broadcast through its own speaker, or a set of connected headphones.

In a picture Singhai is shown wearing the pin, which appears to be circular with an LED indicator light, although most of the detail is obscured or too hard to make out. It’s not explicitly stated, but the pin most likely operated using Google Now, the company’s clever predictive software commonly used on its phones.

While Google’s Combadge pin never became an actual product we can all buy and wear, there are several other ways to talk to devices other than our phones in public, if that’s your desire. The easiest is to grab yourself an Android Wear smartwatch and start chatting away, while Google Glass also liked having a conversation, although only the wearer could hear the responses.

If you’re desperate for a Google-made Communicator pin, there’s no indication the project will be resurrected; but if there’s enough interest now the word is out one exists, perhaps it’ll change its mind.

Andy Boxall
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
Razer Anzu smart glasses deal knocks $140 off the price tag
The Razer Anzu smart glasses placed on top of an open book.

While smartwatch deals have slowly claimed their place in the mainstream, smart glasses haven't turned out to be as popular. Gaming-focused brand Razer, however, is trying to renew interest in smart glasses with the Razer Anzu, which you can currently purchase from Best Buy at $140 off. If you'd like to give them a try, they're available for just $60, less than half their original price of $200.

There have been failures like the Google Glass and Snap Spectacles, and hopeful attempts like Oppo's Air Glass and Apple's secretive project, but the Razer Anzu smart glasses take a different spin on the wearable device by designing them for indoors. While they come with polarized sunglass lenses, their clear lenses are more useful with their blue light filter, which protects your eyes from screen glare to prevent discomfort even after hours of playing video games or working from home. The smart glasses, which also have a built-in omnidirectional microphone and speakers, may also be more comfortable to wear for an extended period of time compared to headsets and headphones. You'll enjoy smooth, stutter-free sound with the Razer Anzu's low latency audio with a 60ms Bluetooth connection.

Read more
The best Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 screen protectors
Person holding skateboard while wearing the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.

A new, sleek design and digital bezel help the Galaxy Watch 4 stand out in the crowd and set it apart from the traditional style of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Whether you've picked up a 40mm model with a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED screen or opted for more screen real estate with the 44mm model, that stand-out design needs protecting from scratches and knocks. That means it's time for our picks of the best Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 screen protectors, with something to suit all budgets.

These screen protectors will all fit the 40mm or 44mm models of the Galaxy Watch 4. If you've got a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, these won't fit.
Spigen Glas.tR EZ Fit Screen Protector

Read more
How to remove watch links from the strap on your new watch
how to remove watch links fossil q explorist

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all smartwatch. If your wrists are on the smaller size, then you may find that your new smartwatch is dangling from your wrist and sliding up your forearm. No need to worry — it's a common problem. Chances are there are at least one too many chain links on the strap, but adjusting a metal-link smartwatch band isn't as difficult as you might think — and doesn't usually require a trip to the jewelers.

We'll take you through everything you need to know and the tools you'll need handy to remove links from your smartwatch so it fits snugly on your wrist.

Read more