We agree with Amy Ratcliffe of Nerd Approved when she says, ”After lightsabers, the items I found to be the coolest in the sci-fi genre were Tricorders. The Star Trek gadgets were practical, solved a heck of a lot of problems, and they looked cool. While there have been many replicas, someone has finally built a working version. It’s not a precise duplicate of what you see in the series, but the spirit is the same. This functional, Star Trek-style Tricorder was designed by Peter Jansen.”

And we think it’s awesome!

The most basic description is that the Tricorder is a self-contained portable sensor. It has GPS, and it can measure ambient temperature, humidity, air pressure, magnetic fields, surface temperatures, colors, ambient light level, ambient polarization, acceleration, direction and distance (ultrasonically).

The second photo show the Mark 2 version (a work in progress—runs on Linux). If you visit Nerd Approved you’ll find a video showing how it works.

The Tricorder is an open source project, so you can learn how to build your own at The Tricorder Project. However, Jansen claims that a version could be mass-produced somewhere down the line.

[via Nerd Approved]