From Alpha Dawn:
"A poly-vox is a specialized computer that can be worn around the throat. It translates a message that it hears in one language into another language, and then repeats it. It can learn an unknown language if it can be programmed with key phrases, and then exposed to the language for 1-100 hours (see Language). A character does not need computer skill to use a poly-vox."
The Poly-Vox weighs 1 kg and costs 1,500 Cr.
Due to its extreme utility in facilitating communications in alien environments, Poly-Voxes are sometimes included in emergency survival packs, particularly in exploration ships that travel beyond the standard spacelanes.
All Polyvoxes can be interfaced with computers equipped with a language program for uploading a new language or downloading a language from files.
The polyvox exists in various models which have different configurations: the most common are:
- Belt Unit: the unit's processor is encased in a box-like unit worn on the belt or in a large pocket, with the throat microphone, earpiece and audio sensor connected by cables to the main unit.
- Collar Unit: these models have all circuitry encased in a single unit worn around the throat like a collar. These are not very popular due to their 1 kg weight.
- BodyComp Unit: Drawing power as a type A progit, the self-contained unit does not place any demands on the bodycomp's processor.
- Helmet Unit: Much like the bodycomp version, but for a "smart" helmet.
- Handheld: A holdover of earlier models, many prefer the simplicity of the hand-held model, which resembles a large lollipop.
- Pre-programmed: Commonly sold at spaceports, these half-kilogram units (usually collar units or handheld) translate the local language to Pan-Gal or to one of the major languages of The Frontier or The Rim, though other combinations can be obtained.