Real Trekkie Tricorder Invented

Real Trekkie Tricorder Invented – Yahoo! News

Forget the hyperbolic title, what’s there is cooler stuff anyway.

The researchers took a look at what you need for doing something like ultrasound and used good old reductionistic reasoning. You need a transducer, data acquisition, data processing, and image display components. By coming up with a transducer and data acquisition components that plug into a cell phone, they were able to offload the data processing part to a remote central computational facility. The cell phone’s LCD display itself provided the image display part.

What this means is that being able to use ultrasound in the field can come down to a relatively inexpensive (more like ~$1000 than ~$70K), portable plugin device, plus I’m assuming some recurring charge for use of the central computing facility, and you can use this and get results wherever one has cell phone access.

There are rather a lot of diagnostic techniques that could be provided using this model, that given a generic audio-visual communication device, one can leverage that capability to provide specific services in remote locations. Going back to the Star Trek analogy, think back on how many of the plots depended upon depriving the protagonists of the use of their “communicators”. That’s a hint of just how important instant, reliable communication can be for even hypothetical situations. I think we’re just beginning to realize the real-world benefits that the technology makes possible.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.