Tuesday, 04 August 2009 10:22

Use your iPhone to fake a 'Beam me up, Scotty' communicator

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A new iPhone app provides the look - but not the feel - of a Starfleet communicator.

Although the developer carefully avoids the use of any trademarks, it's clear that iComm - Subspace Communication is modelled on the communicators appearing in Star Trek.

"iComm is my way of 'giving back' to the world of sci-fi," said Todd Barnes, lead developer at Toughturtle.

"For the longest time I have wanted to make this app, but I was constantly sidetracked with other projects. A few weeks before a 'certain movie' hit the theatres this May I decided that I had to give it a try. The results, in my opinion, have exceeded what I set out to do. I am really happy with it and I hope that others like it too."

Compatible with the iPhone and iPod touch, the initially free app ($US0.99 after the first week of August) provides a range of 'authentic' features even if it doesn't really put you in touch with an orbiting starship.

They include flick to open or close, channel and volume controls, a selection of moire patterns, and canned or personally recorded responses triggered by voice.

"I think the coolest function of the app is that you can actually utilize the touch capabilities of the iPhone/iPod and interactively turn the knobs/dials and have it effect the features of the app," said Barnes.

"I originally was only going to supply 'canned' sounds with the app, but found it lost its fun-factor very quickly. So, I added the ability to record your own Channel Transmission as well as Response Transmissions. Oh wait, did I mention that the app also recognizes voice through the microphone and responds to you? Seriously, it does."

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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