Beam me up, Cortana: Official Star Trek combadge will connect you to your phone's assistant

This week, Star Trek celebrated its 50th anniversary, and after half a century of boldly going where no-one has gone before, the franchise is still going strong, including a blockbuster movie this summer, and a new TV series coming in January.

Over the years, Star Trek has inspired generations of fans with its optimistic vision of the future, but its prescient use of technology has also inspired the development of many products that are now part of our everyday life - from tablets to holographic computers and digital assistants.

Now, another real-world product is preparing to bridge the gap with the fictional Star Trek universe, and will no doubt bring great delight to fans around the world.

It's an officially-licensed Star Trek combadge with a Bluetooth connection and integrated microphone and speakers, that will allow users to interact with the digital assistants on their devices with nothing more than a tap - just like on the TV show.

The combadge is a "screen-accurate" replica of the design used by Starfleet in the Star Trek: The Next Generation era, and was also seen in early seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The product description explains:

It hooks up to your phone or device via Bluetooth® and has a built-in microphone for hands-free calling. Once connected, one touch answers/ends calls, plays/pauses audio, or accesses Siri, Google Now, or Cortana. And, of course, a touch plays that classic communicator sound effect. Warning: you're going to want to keep the micro-USB charging cable handy right after you receive this, because making it chirp is well-nigh irresistible.

The Star Trek TNG Bluetooth ComBadge is available to pre-order now from ThinkGeek, priced at $79.99, and will begin shipping in November.

There may well be even more to look forward to as well. As we reported earlier this week, work is under way to create a fully digitized version of the voice of the LCARS computer system that featured in many of the Star Trek TV series and movies. Efforts to recreate the voice of the late Majel Barrett - who died in 2008 - include plans to make her voice available to fans "for things such as Siri".

In the not-too-distant future, fans may well be able to tap their combadges, and speak with Siri, Cortana or Google Now, and hear the voice of Starfleet's legendary computer replying to them from their phones.

Make it so.

Source: ThinkGeek via SlashGear

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