Apple researching how to make a 'Star Trek' communicator badge – AppleInsider

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Apple has been researching how to make a small, wearable loudspeaker that would use beamformed audio to make it clearly audible to the wearer, yet not disturb anyone else.
Apple calls a newly-revealed patent application by the name, « Wearable Device with Directional Audio, » but it’s really « Star Trek: The Next Generation. » At heart, this is how to solve the problem of your entire Away Team plus enemy aliens hearing when your mother calls to ask if you remembered your coat.
« A wearable device can provide an audio module that is operable to provide audio output from a distance away from the ears of the user, » says Apple. « For example, the wearable device can be worn on clothing of the user and direct audio waves to the ears of the user. »
All of the patent application’s illustrations about wearing such a device, show a speaker clipped to the collar around someone’s neck. But the descriptions specify only that « the wearable device can be worn on clothing of the user. »
Apple’s research focus for the possible new hardware is on how a wearable device can direct sound to the wearer, and not disrupt anyone else.
« Such audio waves can be focused by a parametric array of speakers that limit audibility by others, » continues Apple. « Thus, the privacy of the audio directed to the user can be maintained without requiring the user to wear audio headsets on, over, or in the ears of the user. »
Apple’s objection to headphones is that they can be, « somewhat obtrusive to wear and can inhibit the user’s ability to hear ambient sounds or simultaneously interact with others near the user. »
The patent application is definitely not just for allowing you to listen to your Apple Music Favorites Mix on the go. It is also for communication.
« The wearable device can further include microphones and/or connections to other devices that facilitate calibration of the audio module of the wearable device, » says Apple.
The patent application does then go on to add that such a wearable device could include sensors, « that are configured to detect, measure, and/or track one or more properties of the user. »

I always figured that everyone could hear all the communicators, that they were just a lot more respectful in the future.
When ST came out in the 60s, many saw it as a hope-filled sign that we as a species made it to the 23rd century.  
Now I see it as na hope-filled sign that we as a species will eventually stop staring at our phones 24/7/365.

Now that’s what I’m talking about. 

jpellino said:
I always figured that everyone could hear all the communicators, that they were just a lot more respectful in the future.
When ST came out in the 60s, many saw it as a hope-filled sign that we as a species made it to the 23rd century.  
Now I see it as na hope-filled sign that we as a species will eventually stop staring at our phones 24/7/365.

Star Trek:TNG is commonly misinterpreted to think we become the Federation.  We’re actually the Borg.

Star Trek:TNG is commonly misinterpreted to think we become the Federation.  We’re actually the Borg.

I work at a hospital where Vocera badges are used in the same manner. Those badges aren’t directional audio and I’m sure PHI is being shared without consent, well, at least being over heard. This patent by apple has me thinking better is coming in this space! Yes!

One to beam up, Scotty.
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