Saturday April 15, 2017

Scientists Win $2.6 Million for Star Trek Tricorder Device

Star Trek technology is becoming a reality: an American team of scientists and engineers have been awarded $2.6M for developing a handheld device that can non-invasively diagnose a variety of medical conditionsآ—basically, they figured out how to make a Tricorder. Meh, where’s my transporter?

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The relationship between Star Trek and real-world science is long and distinguished ( how many NASA engineers have claimed to owe their careers to the adventures of Captain Kirk and crew? ). And just as Star Trek’s Communicator inspired the flip phone, and its mobile computer PADD influenced the iPad, now comes a Tricorder-like diagnostic device. Five years after it launched, the Qualcomm Tricorder XPrize has awarded an American team of scientists and engineers a $2.6 million first-place award and a Taiwanese team a $1 million second-place prize for developing consumer mobile devices that non-invasively diagnose 13 medical conditions without assistance from health professionals. An initial 312 teams entered.