In the picture below, the communicator's buttons and pattern in the center differ from each other. Was there any direct intent to make them look different from although still similar to each other? I understand it could be random but if so then why keep the middle button the same? Remember, they didn't have cell phones then.

A Starfleet and realistic answer would be acceptable.

Image showing the different communicator's buttons and patterns enter image description here - Image Source


Those appears to be a natural result of Moiré patterns, which occur when you have overlapping repeating patterns.

Please see this Google search

Although I believe the prop may be based two sets of wavy lines, or something similar, this demonstration at Wolfram Alpha gives a flavor of how a relatively simple setup can appear many ways.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

In short, it's not clear to me that the setup really is different in different props, but if it is, it's probably just different patterns used.

  • 1
    Different patterns potentially combined with different viewing angles. – Mwr247 Oct 11 '18 at 14:12

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