It was really only a matter of time. The tricorder is the dream of nerds everywhere, and not just because they all secretly think it can download Vulcan porn. Which it totally can.
No, a device capable of quickly scanning the environment and offering crucial data would be genuinely useful to, say, the astronauts we’re sending to Mars, or people just exploring a new area. And also it’d be really cool. So, it’s been invented…and it’s basically a DS that runs Linux.
The device, invented by Dr. Peter Jansen, was five years in the making, and it’s pretty impressive in what it can measure: magnetic fields, GPS location, distance to a specific surface, and the usual temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure. Also color, for some reason, maybe for the nerd who runs an interior decorator and needs this to match swatches.
Best of all? If you’re handy with a soldering iron, you can just download the plans and build it yourself; the schematics are available under a non-commercial license. Even the software is free. Of course, it’ll be a bit costly to build, and also power: it needs six AA batteries to work.
Star Trek Tricorder Runs on Linux [Ubergizmo]