That $10 million Tricorder X-Prize from Qualcomm, to create an instrument similar to the ones used on Star Trek, got a step closer today, when Dr. Peter Jansen released the designs for his Mk 2 Tricorder, making all the specifics open source.
Dr. Jansen’s Mark 2 runs on Linux. The hardware includes an ARM Atmel microcontroller squeezed into a clam-shell with two OLED touchscreens. Schematics, board layouts, and the firmware is all available free and includes the initial proof-of-concept device.
The tricorders need six AAA to run and include sensors for temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, ambient light, distance and even magnetic fields. Dr. Jansen’s hope is to make scientists out of everyone.
The Tricorder X-Prize aims to bring a diverse array of inexpensive sensors together in an accessible, easy to use, handheld design. On Jan 12, 2012, the contest was officially opened at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Early entrants to the competition include Silicon Valley startups Scanadu and Senstore.