May 18, 2024

Whereas there’s nonetheless one thing undeniably cool in regards to the flip-open communicators used within the unique Star Trek, the very fact is, they don’t actually look all that futuristic in comparison with fashionable cell phones. However the upgraded “combadges” utilized in Star Trek: The Subsequent Era and its varied massive and small display spin-offs — now that’s a tech we’re nonetheless attempting to catch as much as.

Because it seems, it may not be as distant as we thought. An organization referred to as Vocera really put out a couple of fashions of WiFi “Communication Badges” within the early 2000s that have been meant for hospital use, which nowadays may be had on eBay for as little as $25 USD. Sadly, they’re mainly nugatory with no proprietary back-end system. Or at the very least, that was the case before the Combadge project got involved.

Designed for folk who actually wish to begin every dialog with a brisk faucet on the chest, the first mission of Combadge is the Spin Doctor server, which is a drop-in alternative for the unique software program that managed the Vocera badges. Or at the very least, that’s the aim. Proper not every thing is working, but it surely’s on the level the place you possibly can join a number of badges to a server, assign them customers, and make calls between them.

It additionally options some early speech recognition capabilities, with transcriptions being generated for the voices picked up on every badge. Lengthy-term, one of many targets is to have the ability to plug the output of this server into your private home automation system. So you might faucet your chest and ask the pc to activate the entrance porch gentle, or because the documentation hopefully prophesies, begin the espresso maker.

There hasn’t been a lot exercise on the mission within the final 12 months or so, however maybe that’s simply because the precise group of rabid nerds devoted builders has but to return onboard. Possibly the Hackaday group might assist? In spite of everything, we all know how a lot you want speaking to your electronics. The {hardware} is affordable and the supply is open, what extra might you ask for?