Beam me up Scotty!
Pretty soon, Star Trek fans will be able to use that iconic phrase on a real Bluetooth-enabled radio. Just in time for the San Diego Comic-Con, which is kicking off from July 9th to the 12th, the Wand Company (makers of the famous Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver universal remote) has announced their latest replica device, which is inspired by the iconic handheld communicators of Star Trek fame.
Wait, what? You mean to tell me that after nearly 50 years, eleven movies, and well over 700 hours of material from six different TV series, I can finally own a communicator just like the crew on the starship Enterprise?
Yes. Yes, you can.
Introducing the Star Trek Communicator
The radio in question is designed to mimic—in appearance and function—the communication device that the Enterprise crew used in Star Trek: The Original Series.
It was created using “structured-light 3-D scanning,” which essentially means they took the real design of the communicator and fed it into a 3-D printer. In other words, even hardcore Trekkies would have a hard time finding discrepancies in the design. That’s great news, because hardcore Trekkies are the most likely customers that will scoop this thing up, and they’re a finicky bunch. I would know; I’ve been watching Star Trek since I learned how to walk.
It acts as a Bluetooth receiver, which means it can play music, make and receive phone calls, and operate just as any other wireless speaker would. And yes; it pairs directly with your smartphone via a wireless connection. In addition, a “high-quality MEMS microphone” is embedded in the device for “crystal clear” call quality.
Another neat touch is that the front grille opens up when you want to make or receive calls, just like the communicator from the series. Inside, you’ll find the same knobs, dials, and visual elements as the ones from the show—it looks just like the real thing! In addition, when you interact with it, iconic sound effects will play, which, I imagine, should be enough to reduce even the most stoic of Star Trek fans into giddy little children.
What Is It Made out of and How Much Does It Cost?
The device is manufactured with a die-cast aluminum, pressed metal, and machined aluminum frame, and it comes bundled with a magnetic stand to show it off when you’re not using it. The stand also doubles as a wireless charger and includes a multi-color LED indicator that will tell you if the device is charging or not. The integrated lithium-polymer rechargeable battery—with no word on estimated operating times—can be charged up when it’s placed on the stand.
As for price, you can pre-order the Star Trek: The Original Series Communicator Bluetooth Handset—which is what they’re calling it—for $150. The Wand Company will be demoing the device at Comic-Con this year, but it won’t actually be shipping out to the first buyers until the beginning of next year (January, 2016).
If you decide you want one, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer, but for long-time Star Trek fans, it sounds like it’s worth it. Imagine all those times in the past when you pretended you had a working communicator. Now you actually will.