Star Trek-style 'tricorder' invention offered $10m prize

Star Trek-style 'tricorder' invention offered $10m prize

Friday, 13 January 2012
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Description

A $10m (£6.5m) prize is on offer to whoever can create a Star Trek-like medical "tricorder".

The Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize has challenged researchers to build a tool capable of capturing "key health metrics and diagnosing a set of 15 diseases".

It needs to be light enough for would-be Dr McCoys to carry - a maximum weight of 5lb (2.2kg).

The prize was launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

According to the official Star Trek technical manual, a tricorder is a portable "sensing, computing and data communications device".

The kit captured the imagination of the show's millions of viewers when it was first used in the cult series' first broadcast in 1966.

In the show, which was set in the 23rd Century, the crew's doctor was able to use the tricorder to diagnose an illness simply by scanning a person's body.

Science fact

 

The award organisers hope the huge prize may inspire a present-day engineer to figure out the sci-fi gadget's secret, and "make 23rd Century science fiction a 21st Century medical reality".

"I'm probably the first guy who's here in Vegas who would be happy to lose $10m," said X Prize Foundation chairman Peter Diamandis.

Source

BBC Technology News

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