​Google built a Star Trek communicator for search and then ditched it

It's Google Glass, Jim, but not as we know it

Google has revealed that it built and tested a Star Trek style communicator, for using Google Now and voice search.

The device's existence – and subsequent shelving – was revealed in a Time magazine interview with Google's search guru Amit Singhal.

The Google communicator took the form of a wearable that clipped to the lapel, just like in the TV series. It communicated to the user's smartphone via Bluetooth, enabling Google Now and web searches. It's pretty much the premise of Google Glass, apart from the Star Trek communicator never left Google's labs.

Google and Singhal's fascination with Star Trek has been long documented, and the communicator's existence shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Back at SXSW in 2013, Singhal himself spoke of the TV series and its on-ship computer being a constant source of inspiration.

In his keynote he implored the SXSW audience to go and check out the series, it seems that perhaps some of today's start-up founders did just that. While the Google communicator never left the Holodeck, similar products were beamed to the Earth's surface in the form of the OnBeep Onyx.


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