Ever since the Motorola StarTAC, the loose association between cell phones and the original Star Trek TV series has been painfully obvious. If you want to show your love for America's most iconic piece of science fiction (back off, Star Wars nerds, don't make me bring up midichlorians), you'll soon be able to buy a screen-accurate and officially licensed version of the cell phone's spiritual progenitor. The Star Trek Communicator Bluetooth handset, Starfleet standard issue, will go on sale on January first.
There have been plenty of fan-made Bluetooth versions of the Communicator, mostly based off of toys or one-of-a-kind creations for cosplay. But this is the real deal, made from 3D scans of the original screen prop and featuring virtually identical metal and plastic pieces. The interior buttons and LEDs really work, and because you never saw Captain Kirk reach for a charger, the gadget includes a wireless magnetic charging stand. The Communicator will work as both a speakerphone and an A2DP Bluetooth speaker, and a "wide range of authentic sound effects" means that it will almost certainly make that chirping noise every time you flip it open. You can get a head start on apologizing to your significant other now.
Now might be a good time to start saving your pennies, too, because the official Communicator won't come cheap. Pre-orders are open now for $149.95 - Roddenberry may have imagined a society without money, but we're still unfortunately stuck paying for goods and services. The preview images look pretty high-quality, too, so I wouldn't expect the price to go down for a long time. $150 is a lot to ask for what's basically a nerdy Bluetooth headset... I'll take another look when they start selling a Next Generation commbadge.
- James (Tiberius) Winters