Communicator Becomes A RealityBy Caillan
April 17, 2004 - 12:22 PM
Star Trek's communicators are no longer a fantasy.
Vocera Communications has developed a handy communications device that fits onto your lapel, BBC Online reported. The new lapel communicators are more like The Next Generation's Starfleet comm badges than the flip-up devices shown on Enterprise and the original Star Trek.
The communicator works functions in a very similar manner to the TNG badges. The wearer taps the device and speaks the name of the person they want to contact. The communicator matches that name with the person's entry on a computer database, then connects them with the person who paged them using a Voice-Over Internet Protocol.
But you won't catch anyone saying "Beam me up, Scotty!" into their communicator. They're more likely to be asking for extra bedpans in ward four. Keerti Melkote, co-founder of Vocera's partner company, Aruba Networks, told the BBC that the new gadgets are being tested in hospitals to great success. "We're focussing on healthcare to help provide bedside patient care and replace pager type calls," he said.
The original news can be found here at BBC Online.