Scotty, Two To Beam Up!
VentureBlog featured an excellent article today on predictions for the future of wireless. The thesis of the article is that you can extrapolate the future of the mainstream by looking at specific early-adopter microcosms. For example, Dartmouth's Blitzmail system presaged IMAP, LDAP, and IM.
All of this is quite fascinating, but best of all is this little doozy:
"A number of the staff and students here are trialing a very interesting device from Vocera, called a communications badge. It's a small, two ounce device that's basically just a microphone, speaker, battery, and 802.11 chip. People "push to talk" and use a voice-recognition enabled server to connect to other people. "
In other words, it's a Star Trek communicator. The only question is when those lazy bastards at U Penn are going to finish building a working holodeck.