Space.com Published: Dec. 14, 2016
For nearly five years now, dozens of engineering teams from around the planet have been competing to design a real-life tricorder that approximates the functions of the famous Star Trek device. This is no goof-around competition, either: The winner stands to receive millions of dollars in funding from chip manufacturer Qualcomm and the nonprofit organization XPRIZE, which specializes in these kinds of incentivized competitions.
This week, Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE officials announced that two teams of finalists have made it to the last round of the competition, having designed tricorder-style medical devices that are actually pretty space-age in look and function. Weighing in at less that five pounds each, the devices can diagnose and interpret 13 different health conditions within minutes, while continuously monitoring five different vital sign metrics.