We live in a fascinating time. Every day, technology gets more advanced. And things we only saw in science fiction become actual realities. Now, this Star Trek-inspired tricorder is yet another of those mind-boggling advancements.
ICYMI, the tricorder is a health device used on all Star Trek shows that basically scans the vital signs of a person.
Tricorders, at least in Star Trek‘s world, allow doctors to quickly understand the health conditions their patients are facing. And they do so effeciently and effectively, without needing any invasive procedures.
Now, thanks to some brilliant minds competing for an ambitious prize, this device is close to becoming something we can use IRL.
Back in 2012, X-Prize announced a $10 million prize for whoever could help make the infamous tricorder a reality. As of right now, the competition has been narrowed down to two competitors. Both have created working tricorder prototypes.
According to Quartz, both remaining teams have basically created advanced smartphone devices that utilize existing bluetooth technology and health apps to have a similar outcome to what a tricorder would do.
Both “tricorders” are simple enough that non-health professionals should be able to use them.
Though they seem like a thing of the future, these devices have practical applications. One of the competitors is hoping to begin using their health monitor to help people in rural areas of China that could benefit from accurate diagnosis since they don’t have regular access to healthcare.
Because the clinical trials the FDA requires for these devices may take years, it could be a while before we actually see this technology officially on the market. Still, the fact that something so awesome is on its way is seriously inspiring.