A scientist has developed what could be the first steps to a real life Star Trek Tricorder.
Dr Peter Jansen, a PhD graduate of the Cognitive Science Laboratory at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, has developed a scientific measurement device that can take atmospheric measurements. It can read ambient temperature, pressure or humidity. It can also take electromagnetic measurements to test magnetic fields, and even measure distance, location, or motion.
The X Prize Foundation recently offered a prize of $10 million to any one who can make a working Tricorder. But to win the prize, the Tricorder must be able to read “key health metrics” and diagnose at least 15 diseases while be be light enough to carry. X Prize Foundation chairman Peter Diamandis said at the launch of the competition in Las Vegas;
“I’m probably the first guy who’s here in Vegas who would be happy to lose $10m”
The benefits of a working Tricorder are clear. It would have major impact in the medical world where examinations could be conducted without being invasive. In the engineering sector, readings could be taken without having to set up bulky equipment and in day to day use because you can be sure that some elements would find their way into your mobile phone.
Star Trek tech has been credited for the invention of the Ipad and the handheld phone. Many engineers and scientists quote Star Trek as the main reason they chose the carrier path they followed and Dr Jensen is no different;
“Star Trek inspired me to be a scientist”
If his Tricorder is capable of taking these complicated measurements now, imagine what it can do ten years done the line.