Tricorders (Terra Futura)

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A tricorder was a multifunction hand-held device that was used for sensor scanning, data analysis, and recording data. It was an idea straight out of Star Trek.


Diagnosis of disease was never easy. It had been known back in ancient times. Ideas came out of people like Hippocrates. Then, in the early 20th century, a man named William Osler proposed that a doctor had to be able to identify a disease and its symptoms and to understand its mechanism and how to cure it. This was the basis for modern diagnosis and treatment. Years later, Osler's successor, Archibald Gerrod, inspired by Hippocrates, proposed that some diseases were inherited. This was confirmed by the Human Genome Project in the 1990s. In the early 21st century diagnosis of disease was revolutionized by the tricorder.


The tricorder was originally used for medical purposes, but as time went on, it found new applications.

Medical tricorder

Tech Level: 10

In 2012, the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize was launched. The first two years were for registration. In 2014, the qualifying round began. When it ended, ten teams were left in the competition. The final round began in 2015. The number was first reduced to five. Finally, a winner was declared. The medical tricorder that won successfully diagnosed 15 diseases in 30 patients. The company whose tricorder won proceeded to make a tricorder that could diagnose even more diseases. This revolutionized healthcare totally. It could diagnose disease, show ongoing personal health metrics such as heart rate, monitor ongoing health, summarize a person's health, and confirm a person was healthy or not. The cost of healthcare and health insurance was significantly reduced. Eventually, the medical tricorder became ubiquitous. It could be found in toilets, in bathroom mirrors, in clothes, and even in a person's body. This was made possible by the DNA chip.

Meanwhile, the tricorder was going beyond the medical industry.

Engineering tricorder

Tech Level: 11

By the mid-21st century, the tricorder was being used for engineering purposes. These tricorders were being used to monitor whether a machine was okay. If there was a problem were part of a machine, an engineering tricorder would detect it. The problem would then be fixed. Soon, the engineering tricorder was built into machines itself with help from nanotechnology. These would transmit information to a computer about any problems to fix. Even with replicators, engineering tricorders were used. By the time the replicator was invented, however, tricorders were being used for general scientific purposes.

Scientific tricorder

Tech Level: 12

By the late 21st century, the tricorder was being used for making scientific discoveries. This was key for establishing contact with extraterrestrial lifeforms in space and for exploring the sea. This was crucial in the development of faster-than-light space travel. Soon, the scientific tricorder was becoming ubiquitous, too. This was thanks, in large part, to implantable brain-computer interfaces. As a result, the amount of scientific discoveries exploded. The tricorder was revolutionary.

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