Tricorder Competition

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by JB2005, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. JB2005

    JB2005 Commodore Commodore

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    From BBC News:

    The article basically says that this isn't likely to be realised for quite some time, but its still interesting to see how Trek continues to influence Science and Tech!

    The end of the article was disappointing:
    Since that's probably all we could do at this point!
     
  2. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A medical tricorder seems to be a doable thing. It can safely use active scans with waves penetrating the body, and from there it can see more than a doctor can see visually and on your x-ray scan. It probably won't be limited to contactless use like in the Trek, so it can learn anything more that you can learn from a blood sample. Putting all these things together, making it small, and have them making accurate diagnoses will take years, decades or even centuries, but those things are definitely coming.

    Normal tricoders though appear to be a bit unthinkable. It has to penetrate walls, detect objects from a distance and guess the type of the object. In particular, for it to be useful it has to recognize the type of life form through a wall and perhaps find other artificial objects that you might want to avoid. Some partial support is perhaps doable, but even with a time machine I don't see myself sneaking into somewhere guided only by my tricorder to avoid guards, or protecting myself from rapists using one.
     
  3. JB2005

    JB2005 Commodore Commodore

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    Whenever I go to Scotland now, I have to change trains in Glasgow and walk from one station to the other, I use the GPS on my phone and Google Maps to guide me and honestly feel like I'm in Star Trek the whole time!

    I'd bet on the not-too-distant future when we start to see real advances, given how quickly technology has moved since the year 2000!
     
  4. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To feel like in Star Trek your GPS would have to scream on obstacles up ahead and warn you to lift your head up when you're about to bump into a lamppost. And that's actually possible and pretty useful.

    We had a teacher who used to bump into trees when he was busy thinking, I don't know how he'd do if he tried walking while watching his phone or reading a book.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  5. Itisnotlogical

    Itisnotlogical Commodore Commodore

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    A tricorder sounds awesome. If such a device ever exists in my lifetime, I'd definitely buy one just to learn more about my world. I'd constantly be scanning everything.
     
  6. StolenThunder

    StolenThunder Poster Premium Member

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    It's an interesting idea, but in all honesty I find it very difficult to work out how it would help.

    It might be able to display and interpret results of blood testing, physiology and imaging, but no handheld device is going to be able to initiate its own x-ray based imaging safely with someone holding it, nor is it going to be able to take a history or perform a physical examination.

    Very rarely do we have an acute need to complete a diagnosis at the bedside, there's usually time to use formal laboratory or imaging facilities.

    It would have to somehow progress on current technology and science significantly, I suppose, by being able to identify and more importantly accurately locate, in real time, molecular disease processes (e.g. neutrophil accumulation in the appendix, marker release from myocardium).

    Don't get me wrong though: if it was like Star Trek, it would be super cool.
     
  7. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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