Fans of Star Trek: TNG have long been clamoring for a communication device as simple as the show's iconic commbadges. After all, nobody wants to go to the hassle of digging their phone out of their pocket when they can just slap their chest instead. At least that's the theory. With a modern day version of the tech now funding on Kickstarter, we'll see if all that chest-thumping is as convenient as it looks on TV.
Connecting to your iPhone or Android smartphone via Bluetooth LE, the CommBadge can be clipped or magnetically affixed to your Star Fleet uniform just the way Captain Picard wears it (ZOMG!). Simply touching the CommBadge activates your smartphone's voice command prompt, allowing you to place calls, listen to voicemail or use text-to-speech over the CommBadge's speakerphone. Designed to outlast your smartphone, the CommBadge's battery can run for two to three days between charges.
All that's well and good, but Siri's not exactly a Star Trek computer. For that matter, a Bluetooth speakerphone isn't really a commbadge. You'll still need to dig your smartphone out of your pocket if you want to do anything more complex than place a call, making the CommBadge really no better than a run-of-the-mill, $10 Bluetooth headset. Given that CommBadge Technologies, LLC wants you to shell out $90 dollars for a single unit, with an extra $15 lumped on top if you want the magnetic version, we're not seeing much of Star Trek's egalitarian morals here.
There's also a $95 CommBadge+ version that comes with a plastic ID badge holder, because you're gonna wear this sucker to work. Act now, however, and you'll get a $5 discount, so if you really really need a speakerphone for your smartphone that affixes to your chest and pretends to be as cool as Star Trek tech, then has CommBadge Technologies got a deal for you.