Jesse Robbins took a step away form the tech industry and began training as a part-time firefighter and emergency medical technician for the Palo Alto (California) Fire Department, while continuing to juggle a position as a systems engineer.  Jump forward a decade or so later and Robbins has decided to move in the direction of the tech industry for a change and embrace the field of wearable tech.

Could a tech startup really create a 'Star Trek' communicator?

Could a tech startup really create a ‘Star Trek’ communicator?

For the past year, he has been working with cofounder Greg Albrecht, who also works as an emergency responder, on a startup called OnBeep.  The startup is developing a wearable communication device, which promise to assist groups communicate in real time without a  smartphone.

The concept for the device has been described as being like a modern day walkie-talkie; Robbins says it was more “inspired” by the communicator badges in Star Trek.  Robbins says of the device, “It clips to your shirt or coat or blouse or bag strap…It’s worn very similar to a badge or a broach and designed to be operated with one hand, a single gesture. You’re able to press or gesture communicate, speak and be heard.”

“I kept coming back to this idea of bringing real-time group communication, the type of communication that I’ve always been able to use in a lifesaving capacity, to everyone…I wanted to be able to bring them the same sort of heads up, engaged, in the moment tech that we have when we use [fire department] radios, but that don’t weigh 4 pounds.”

OnBeep has just announced this week, it has raised $6.25 million in funding led by Avalon Ventures to help launch the first product this year. The device is currently in Alpha testing.

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[Image via screenused]