Build a real Star Trek tricorder and you may live long and prosper

If you can build a working Star Trek tricorder, you could win $10 million through the X-Prize Foundation, reports the Register.

But be warned: The Foundation isn't looking for a fanboy tricorder with blinking lights and recorded bleeps and bloops that just looks like the props from the 1960s television show. In fact, it doesn't matter what it looks like -- it has to be a real medical device.

"The device must provide a quick assessment of a patient's health issues and provide a comparable diagnosis to that presented by a panel of board-certified physicians," the Register reports. "A patient would have to breathe, bleed or pee into the device, which would be use the fluids to produce an initial opinion."

People continue to be interested with the fictional technology featured on the show. In 2009, Nokia built a cell phone that looked and beeped like a Star Trek communicator, but only made 14 of them. One could only wonder why.

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Reader Comments

Mon, Jun 6, 2011 Dave Washington DC

The device could be achieved using a cell phone, a sensor array and a separate cloud computing system to correlate the results. All very doable. However they should have done their research before offering the prize. The Tri-Corder actually provided scientific analysis of minerals, atmosphere and local life signs - it was McCoy's salt shaker that was used for diagnoses purposes.

Mon, May 23, 2011 Southeast

To come close to the non-contact evaluation of patients seen on Star Trek, the device would have to take advantage of some very sensitive sensors collecting information from various quantum wave disturbances as biochemistry rearranges atoms and molecules. The data/signal analysis load would be tremendous. It is possible to develop, after some more basic physics reasearch and several orders of magnitude increase in computing density/power. However, my grandchildren probably won't even see it.

Fri, May 13, 2011 Ron K

Very feasible and already in the works. However, such a device would take 300 times the prize money offered to actually create a working prototype. Hopefully, the awarding agency would not claim ownership rights, as the resulting patents could be in the billions in value to the inventor.

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