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Many of us from time to time express frustration that we are not living in the future promised us by the science fiction films and television series of our youth – no flying cars, no television phones, and no orgasmatron. Some of us gravitate to gadgets which at least look like those technologies – I like my fliptop cellphone as a reminder of the communicators on Classic Trek.

Now comes the Next Generation in telecommunications. The BBC is reporting that Vocera, an American telecommunications firm, is producing a device which you can wear as a lapel pin and when you want to speak to someone, all you have to do to get connected is punch the badge and speak their name. The device exploits the potentials of voice recognition software and wi-fi networks and has already gained some popularity among hospital workers.

Now, if they can only iron the kinks out of the transporter technology, we might be able to fit more meetings into a day.

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