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Assignment: Impossible

Assignment: Impossible


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A Modest Proposal: Star-Trek-like Comm Badges for Siri, redux

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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In the series “A Modest Proposal,” my colleagues and I will propose inventions and projects that I think are eminently doable and would love made real.

A Star Trek communicator badge

So I had earlier suggested the idea of a brooch like the communication badge seen on Star Trek that one can tap for an otherwise hands-free way of talking with the Siri voice interface system on the new iPhones.

Lo and behold, someone has done just that!

The CommBadge

To clarify as I had to do with my last post, I’m not talking about a Bluetooth interface for phone calls. I’m talking about a hands-free control for a the voice interface Siri. I’m also aware of the Vocera communications badge, although I’m not aware if it works with Siri or other voice interfaces.

Inventor Charles Krimstock in Laguna Niguel, Calif., and his colleagues developed a speakerphone that can be clipped on a shirt or hung around the neck. It can pair with a smartphone such as an iPhone or Android phone via Bluetooth and an app running on that phone. Those who don’t like wearing Bluetooth headsets (like me) might enjoy a hands-free system to communicate with their phone from up to 100 feet away.

I’m really looking forward to more people designing devices based on my whims. (Joking, if it’s not obvious.) You can help chip in on this project on Indiegogo — I have no financial connection with them.

You can email me regarding A Modest Proposal at toohardforscience@gmail.com and follow the series on Twitter at #modestproposal.

Charles Q. Choi About the Author: Charles Q. Choi is a frequent contributor to Scientific American. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, Science, Nature, Wired, and LiveScience, among others. In his spare time, he has traveled to all seven continents. Follow on Twitter @cqchoi.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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