GOOGLE HAS boldly gone where no search engine has gone before in the quest for always-on information.
In an interview with Time, Amit Singhal, senior vice president and software engineer at Google, revealed that the company has prototyped a lapel pin that works on the same principle as those used in the classic sci-fi franchise Star Trek.
The button works either by using an onboard speaker or a headphone. In theory at least, because at the moment, the Number 1 has yet to Make It So.
"I always wanted that pin," Singhal said. "You just ask it anything and it works. That’s why we were like, ‘Let’s go prototype that and see how it feels.’"
But as yet the Bluetooth device, which would have hooked into Google Now in the same way that Picard's hooked into their all-knowing ship's computer, hasn't left the testing phase.
In this particular case, the boffins were looking for other ways for users to interact with Google. Some make the grade, some, like Google Glass get into the public domain before they are cancelled, and then some never see the light of day, at least till now. But if Google doesn't want it, you can bet some Kickstarter campaign will.
Google engineers are generally sci-fi fans and often use the technology from their favourite shows as a jumping-off point for ideas.
The original Chromecast, for example, has the code name H2G2-42 - referring to The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (H2G2) and its claim that the answer to the question of life the universe and everything is 42. (For non-aficionados of Adams, the problem was that once we found the answer, we didn't know what the question was).
Star Trek is a particular favourite, so it will surely please the team that a new Star Trek series is coming next year to give them further inspiration. µ
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