If there’s any one piece of pop culture that has sort of propelled us toward our high tech future, it would have to be the Star Trek franchise. What is Google Glass if not Geordi LaForge’s visor in TNG? What is Oculus Rift if not an attempt to finally get the holodeck? From potential tricorders to universal translators, the list goes on and on. One of the tentpole technologies seen in Star Trek, however, is the humble chest-worn communicator, usually woven into a Federation pin. This technology shouldn’t be too hard to implement, given we’ve been living in a world with walkie-based cell phones for seven years or so. As it turns out, no, it’s not too hard to make happen and it’s coming soon to a chest near you.
OnBeep just unveiled their Onyx chest-worn communication system. It’s a Star Trek communicator in all but name and shape. That pesky Federation logo is owned by Paramount, unfortunately. It works by connecting to your phone wirelessly via Bluebooth and then allowing you to press a button to quickly message people on your approved list. It works with both iOS and Android so, unless you are a Windows phone user, you won’t be left out in the cold void of space with nobody to talk to.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.