Android tricorder

I was listening to an NPR report several months ago. I didn’t have a smartphone then so I was not paying direct attention, and now that I do, I wish I had. There was an interview (I don’t recall the show) with the designer of an app that acts like a Star Trek tricorder. Not the fake app that just makes random booping noises and shows fake data, but an actual functioning application.
I think it worked from collating lots of data from different places. GPS and magnetic info might come from the phone itself, weather and air quality from a weather app, and local sun info from another site, maybe NASA?
It sounded awfully cool and I would love to get it. I can’t find a reference online. Help?!

some mention that there was software moonblink that was taken off the market.

http://code.google.com/p/moonblink/wiki/Tricorder

There was such an app but CBS objected to the copyright infringement.

I bought that one, thinking that it was the one I’d heard about. It’s a toy. It gives you a screen from the show that makes bleeps and boops and random made-up data. I was going for functional and was extremely disappointed.

Here’s a NASA - developed iPhone App that might be what you heard about:

ETA: and this iPhone App, also.

I had that app on my Motorola Xoom, the one from moonblink, but I rooted and forgot to back it up and afterwards it was too late, as the app had already been removed from the market. :frowning:

That chemical ID app and device is terrific! Not that I was looking for, but very cool.

Hmm… I just looked at the review of the app posted above. Maybe it what I got WAS what I had heard above. I played with it a bit and all i got it to do was tell me there was Ferengi nearby and beep and boop at me. Apparently it also does the gravitational and magnetic and other waveform detection too. Poo. I could have dealt with the schlock if I had known it was functional and not just a toy.

Dammit Jim, I don’t have enough bars!

I have a Tricorder app on my Android, but it doesn’t seem to be on the Market anymore. Maybe I lucked out into getting it before it disappeared?

Just to satiate my curiosity, what did the pulled app actually do?

My Droid is almost two years old, and I have it also. It basically collects and displays data from the various sensors built into the phone.
There are a lot of features. There is a Grav screen which shows the local gravitational field. The MAG screen shows the local magnetic field. The ACO displays a graph of the sound in the region - you can speak into it and see the change. GEO shows your location, using GPS if you have it turned on.
EMS shows all the wifi and other signals within range. Finally, SOL shows the state of the Sun and solar wind, downloaded from some place on the net.

Nice little app to demo. Never had much real use for it.

What did the Star Trek tricorders do?

Detecting life signs, mostly. Sadly our current smartphone sensors aren’t up to that yet.

Basically a combination of a portable computer, video/audio recorder, and all-purpose sensor.

One of the notable abilities of the Star Trek tricorder was the ability to take video of the scene before it, and include itself in the video thus produced!.

Imagine a Star Trek scene showing Kirk et al on an alien planet, one of them holding a tricorder and recording the local scenery, natives, or whatever. Now note where the studio TV camera must be to film that scene, and everything it shows – not only the scenery and natives, but also including Kirk et al holding the tricorder. The tricorder itself was apparently able to create a video showing the scene just the way that studio TV camera showed it.

Did the Droid, iPhone, or whatever Tricorder app do THAT?

I seem to remember news back in the 90s (when all things Trek were all the rage) that a functional TNG-style prop Tricorder was available as the new geek toy.

It could digitally record and process various electromagnetic phenomena, measure g-forces, even had a geiger counter.

You ordered it Mac or PC compatible.

That sucks. It was the first app I dl’d. I still have it though.

It seems like it would be easy to simply rebrand the app and have it do the same stuff.

If somebody can get a Star Trek style tricorder to work - at least the medical diagnostic part - they are on for a $10 million X prize. Pretty sure there isn’t an app for this yet :smiley: