đź–– A Star Trek-Like Communicator Badge

As engineer Joe Crop explains, a small badge that could transmit audio data over vast distances seemed impossible in the late 1980s. The cellphone-sized communicators of the original Star Trek series back in the 1960s probably seemed pretty far-fetched as well, but now possible thanks to today’s technology.

Still, there’s something really neat about being able to tap on your chest and speak to someone. Crop’s tiny Teensy-based prototype accomplishes just that, using an RFM69HCW wireless transceiver module to send audio data, and an accelerometer to tell when the device should be activated. A receiver is set up in breadboard form and hooked up to an oscilloscope, which enables him to demonstrate that his prototype is working.

This project’s aim is to use modern technology to provide nearly all the features of visionary tech, namely: tap to connect and communicate instantly, long range (from orbit to planet surface), small form factor (of an original TNG badge), fully autonomous (no cell phone or base station needed), and no external power source (i.e. battery powered).

Now he just has to build several of these chest-sized units to allow easy communication like envisioned in Star Trek TNG! Until then, you can follow along with his project here.