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Artifact Spotlight: Star Trek Tricorder

Artifact Spotlight: Star Trek Tricorder

It’s been nearly a half-century since Star Trek debuted in 1966. Since that time, several technologies depicted in the Star Trek universe have moved from science fiction to science fact. (If you own a cell phone, for instance, you can thank the Star Trek communicator for inspiring inventor Martin Cooper to create his own mobile communication device.)

Now the tricorder—a multifunctional hand-held device used for sensor scanning, data analysis, and recording data—is one of these Star Trek technologies on the fast-track to reality. 

Today, several companies are vying for the top prize of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, a competition to create a portable device that can capture key health vital signs and diagnose a set of 12 diseases.

Now you can see fiction become fact inside Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds with the medical tricorder used in the film Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) alongside the Vitaliti, a tricoder finalist in the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE competition.