A History of the WristComm

Sort of.

Wrist Comm episode of Doctor Who, 1977

In my forthcoming book UNDERCURRENT, a lot of my characters use WristComms. I figure that, even a hundred years from now, we’re still going to need some kind of phone (plus whatever apps and stuff we need), and we won’t want to carry it around. So, I named my device the “WristComm.” Settle down, all you Whovians. . . I know this name has been used before in the “The Robots of Death,” episode of Doctor Who in 1977, and this Wrist-Comm was worn by Toos (Pamela Salem).

The Wrist-Comm/Brooch

Although it looks a little like beads glued to a brooch and hot glued to an elastic band, I’m pretty sure this is a real Wrist Comm. I just hope that we don’t have to wear that gold-plated colander as an antenna.

But that’s not the only popular show to feature a Wrist Comm. Star Trek: The Motion Picture featured a communicator that was worn on the wrist. This one once looked futuristic, but on close inspection, I believe this might have been the first-generation DirectTV remote. It looks like it clips onto your arm,probably only until the end of the shot when it falls to the studio floor and breaks, and then a scrawny guy dressed all in black rushes in with a soldering iron and some duck tape to make repairs and hand it back to Captain Kirk. I do like this one, because it has red lights on it. All good technology should have red lights.  

The Realistic 2100, by Tandy

Here’s another example of a more modern-day wrist-based communicator. If Radio Shack were still around, I’m pretty sure this is what their WristComm would look like. I really like the big volume knob and the stylish wood-grain accent panel (or is that a magnifying window showing the guy’s arm hair?

But what I’m really thinking for the wonderful world of Aquataine, is something like the one below. It’s nothing more than a slim wrist band that projects the images of your apps onto your arm instead of a screen. I think that by  2125, these might actually be old technology. The picture shows the concept photo of something the developers call the Cicret Bracelet. The video is fun to watch, but for the record, I ain’t sendin’ no money to their funding page. 

The WristComm (before Holographic models were introduced in 2126)

The concept, I think is probably feasible. I note that there are no red lights, but that’s an easy fix. The other problem developers have to overcome is how you answer your phone in the winter time while wearing your new North Face Arctic down coat. But, I’m sure those are simple things compared to making this technology work in the first place.

There’s one other thing that would make this all better, and I introduced it in a couple of places in UNDERCURRENT. The first place is in the coffee shop across from the Wave party headquarters. Phelan Maxwell taps his wrist-comm to the access terminal to sync it to a larger screen mounted at the table. At the same time,the terminal projects a keyboard onto the table, making it easier for him to enter text while speech mode is disabled.

I know this looks all futuristic, but you can actually buy this at Wal-Mart right now for around $45 to tie in to your Smartphone. Or,your arm.

P.S. Yes it is duck tape.

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