Day by day our technology becomes more like that from science fiction books and series. The most recent awesome gadget comes from Dr. Peter Jansen, a PhD graduate of the Cognitive Science Laboratory at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. This great guy, whom numerous Star Trek fans will soon learn to respect greatly, has invented the legendary tricorder - 'a multifunction handheld device used for sensor scanning, data analysis, and recording data.' On his website you can even find all the information on building and programing your own Tricorder. Yup, that's right - the whole thing is open-sourced! There is also a community forum where Peter is making a thread to help people find and order actual parts necessary. Some of the sensors included in this neat little piece of every nerds dream are things like atmospheric temperature and humidity sensor, magnetic field sensor, pressure sensor, GPS receiver and a portable shower. Well, this last part is not included, actually. Not yet, anyhow. So check out Peter's site, join the forum, and start building your own Tricorder. I know I will, as soon as possible.
Now, beside the fact that this guy made a friggin tricorder, what strikes me the most is his honest and sincere interest and love for the science end exploration. When you read his blog or listen to the video above, you can see how eager and hopeful he is about the change the Tricorder might bring to people, especially young people. He believes, and I certainly concur, that with a piece of hardware like this, every walk from school to home or wherever becomes a journey of knowledge. You can learn about the aspects of your surroundings on a level you normally can't. You can see physical processes and forces on a screen of a device that you can carry around in your pocket. Imagine the impact this can have on a young, knowledge-seeking mind! I used to run around my garden with a magnifying glass and a compass and I was insanely amazed by the things that I discovered. What an adventure would it be to run around the garden with this thing! Hopefully, next generations will be able to experience that thrill, and we have to thank people like Dr. Jansen for that. I know I will follow this guy's explorations with much hope and awe, and so should you.