The Star Trek tricorder has become a reality, thanks to the hobby project of a cognitive science researcher. Peter Jansen has developed a handheld mobile computing device that has a number of sophisticated embedded sensors. The device is modeled after the distinctive design of the 24th century tricorder.
He began working on the project in 2007 and aims to make it easy for others to reproduce his designs. He has made complete schematics for two of his four models available under the terms of the TAPR non-commercial hardware license. The underlying source code of the device’s software environment is available under the GPL. In a blog post about the project, Jansen explained that he hopes his project will encourage scientific curiosity and help people better understand the world.
“I think for me, it’s really about curiosity. And helping to find ways to see and intuitively visualise the world around us, to help share that curiosity, and get folks excited about science,” he wrote.