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Canadian Man Releases Open Source Star Trek Tricorder 109

New submitter upontheturtlesback writes "Another example of Star Trek technology becoming a reality. In light of the recent Tricorder X-Prize announcement, Dr. Peter Jansen has openly released the designs for a series of Science Tricorders that he developed while a graduate student at McMaster University. The Science Tricorders are capable of sensing a variety of atmospheric, electromagnetic, and spatial phenomena. Where the Science Tricorder Mark 1 is a relatively easy-to-build proof of concept, the Science Tricorder Mark 2 runs Linux and resembles a cross between a Nintendo DS and scientific instrument with dual OLED touch displays. An exciting video shows them in action, and describes the project goal of creating general scientific tools for learning about and visualizing the world, as well as their importance for science education by helping kids understand abstract concepts like magnetism or polarization visually. The hardware schematics, board layouts, and firmware source are freely available on the Tricorder project website under various open licenses."

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Canadian Man Releases Open Source Star Trek Tricorder

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  • Nice, but (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dwywit ( 1109409 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @08:48PM (#39503607)

    Call me when there's a functional Voight-Kampff machine.
    And a nexus-6 pleasure model to test it on.

  • OK... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msauve ( 701917 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @08:49PM (#39503619)
    We'll see [].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @09:03PM (#39503749)

    none of you have done ANYTHING or has built ANYTHING.

    This guy is 800X a man than any of you ever will be simply because he is actually doing something other than being a tool like the rest of you.

    He is designing and releasing the code and designs. Most of the people posting here can barely chew gum and tie their shoes at the same time, and are proud they can find their SUV's gas cap when they need to fill it up.

    Bunch of freaking loudmouth loser posers, the lot of you.

  • Re:OK... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @09:10PM (#39503789) Journal

    First thing I thought, too -- the interface looks like LCARS, which will likely call down the wrath of CBS.

  • Great work, thanks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wreakyhavoc ( 1045750 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @09:58PM (#39504147)
    This is the DIY, open source version. Kinda clunky, but open and accessible. He's obviously a proponent of accessible education, a welcome sentiment.

    The Apple/Nokia/Samsung version will be flip-phone configuration, no user serviceable or accessible parts, locked down and impossible to open up without destroying. It will feature multiple wireless protocols, wireless probes and accessories. It will not be upgradeable, and will be created as a designed obsolescence, throw away device. While you use it to explore the world around you, it will be gathering all your data to explore and categorize you.

    It will also be backed by a war chest of patents used to deny the populace or small businesses from creating their own cheap, open, accessible versions.

    Scoff all you like, but enjoy this handiwork while you still can. Or at least applaud.
  • by wreakyhavoc ( 1045750 ) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:55AM (#39505457)
    Medical health professionals are already reporting that many patients are able to do self diagnosis with the help of 'net research. "They come to us for confirmation of what they've already figured out."

    Given the lack of access to quality health care in even 1st world societies, imagine the empowerment to diagnose biomedical ailments at the molecular level from commonly available handheld devices at home. []

    The ability to do real-time PCR(, immunoassays to detect bacteria, viruses and cancers based on antigen-antibody reactions, dielectrophoresis, and other techniques would have an immense impact on general human health and treatment in the hands of qualified health professionals and citizens.

    Doctors working in third world and inaccessible regions would have an incalculable leg up, not having to wait for non-existent sample testing.

    I don't see this as a project for basement tinkerers, but the technology is coming along. Health care costs are threating to overwhelm world economies as populations burgeon and life expectancies increase.

    I'll leave it to the other cynics to burst this bubble. I'd like to think there are still some optimistic dreamers out there. Let's hear some feedback from some of those, please.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser