If you’re even slightly geeky, chances are you’re a fan of the original series of Star Trek, or Star Trek: TOS as it’s often referred. Sure, the 1960s series, with William Shatner as Captain Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock can come across as a bit campy these days, but it’s still a lot of fun to watch.
Part of the fun is to see what “futuristic” technology appeared in the show and to compare it to what we have now. Unfortunately, we don’t yet have transporters, because that would be way too cool. We don’t yet have warp drive, either, which means it can still take a long time to get across town.
I’m guessing that hand held phasers are also still a few years off.
What we do have, however, is hand held communications devices. Granted, they weren’t overly visionary during the 1960s when they envisioned that we’d one day have hand held devices that let us talk to people but didn’t envision that we’d have devices that would let us do more.
But an iPhone just isn’t as cool as a Star Trek communicator, even if they did somewhat resemble the mostly-obsolete flip phones of a decade or so ago. There’s a certain nostalgic coolness to seeing Kirk flip open his communicator and ask to be beamed up.
Now, you can do that yourself – sort of. An officially licensed replica of the Star Trek communicator is now available, and it actually works. Works, in the sense that you can use it to make phone calls. It’s Bluetooth enabled, and it can connect with your mobile phone so you can make and receive calls, but do so in a bit more of a retro way.
The device was laser-scanned from one of the last surviving props from the original show, and it’s been somewhat modernized. It comes with its own recharging dock, to which it attaches via magnets.
It includes built-in sound effects from the original show, and includes a high quality foam lined transit case for carrying it around. It also has a high quality speaker built in, so you can use it to play back music, which, as far as I know, is not something that the original show’s communicator was able to do.
Odd; you’d think they’d have included that feature in the 23rd century just as a matter of course.
It’s also USB rechargable, so you can take it wherever you need to go and keep it powered up.
It’s a nice looking replica, and if you’ve got friends who are fans of the original Star Trek show (and who doesn’t?) they’re going to be envious.
Unfortunately, when you ask someone on the other end to beam you up, nothing is likely to happen. They’re still working on that technology.
The Star Trek communicator is available from a number of retailers, and sell for $150 or so.
I can’t say that this falls into the “must have” category, especially considering the price. Still, it’s a fun toy for any geek and especially for anyone who likes sci-fi or the original show.
Live long and prosper.