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Google experimented with a Star Trek-style Communicator badge

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Did you ever watch Picard's Star Trek and hope that someday, we too might communicate with just the touch of a lapel-worn gadget? No, we didn't really, either -- Bluetooth headsets quickly poured water on that fire. But, Amit Singhal, senior vice president and software engineer at Google did, and the company even made a prototype. In a report in Time, Singhal describes the never-before-known wearable as a simple Bluetooth device controlled by touch, just like on the show. Once activated, your voice command would be passed to your handset, with feedback delivered by either a small speaker, or headphones.

Of course, Google isn't the first to have such an idea. In fact there are actual products on the market that more than resemble the communicator badge Singhal's team was working on. What's interesting is the peek behind the Google-curtain the prototype provides. We've come a long way since Google.com was just a desktop website, where our daily internet journey would often return. These days, you probably don't even realize you're googling half the time, between Chrome's native search bar, mobile apps, and Google Now (not to mention voice-based competition from Siri, Cortana, and even Amazon). The prototype wearable is likely one of many projects designed to keep the Google, in googling, that ultimately never saw the light of day. Still, if you really do have that Communicator itch, there's always the full-fat desktop version to keep you going.

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