Just Because They Could – a real, working Star Trek-style tricorder

Sci-fi has become reality with this working hand-held super sensor – and you can make your very own one, 'cause it's open source

While Star Trek may have boldly gone where nobody has gone before by conceptualising the tricorder – a multi-sensor handheld device – real life Scotty-style-engineer Peter Jansen has caught up and made one for the real world.

The tricorder – oddly named, since it has 12 sensors – can measure ambient temperature, humidity, air pressure, magnetic fields, surface temperatures, colors, ambient light levels, ambient polarisation, acceleration, direction, distance (ultrasonically), and location using GPS. And it does it all while looking like Spock’s very own handheld.

Why would I need that, you may ask? Peter says he created the flip sensor system to help people see science in the world around them: actually viewing heat escaping poorly insulated edges of your windows at home, or watching the oscillating power flux near a socket left on. He believes education through gratification of curiousness will help better us and improve science. That’s why it’s all open source – so you can make your very own tricorder. Peter’s also made a pretty dual OLED touchscreen version running Linux – check them both out in the video below.

You may also like

New video! Is the HTC One X the new King of Android?

Viral of the week – Total Recall trailer (2012)

Next Big Thing – Swipe “human search” for Wikipedia