From: 12 Inventions that May Change The World
Let's Build a Tricorder...!
My understanding of what a Tricorder is;
Is a device that allows the user to 'See' along the entire Electromagnetic Spectrum--
It seems to me that this would be a fairly simple innovation,
Most of the familiar frequencies would be easy enough,
And you'd only have to arrange all the sensors into a matrix, or array along one side of the handheld device.
How useful would such a tool be...?
Well- you'd be able to see through just about anything...
And you'd also be able to identify any element that you were examining,
and the computer that interpreted all this information, would probably also be able to figure out which alloys &/or molecules you were scanning...
So that looking EFFECTIVELY for bombs or harmful recreational drugs would be as simple as tasting all the dips at a friends wedding reception with a clean popsicle stick...
Which may-be why such a device has not be invented yet...!
Think of how annoying it would be if the police could see everything you were carrying, just by pointing their Tricorder at you from the anonymity of their un-marked police car...?
They'd be able to see into your house, or right into your body...!
As a sidenote to this; or digression...???
It might be possible to invent a more 'focused' device that instead of scanning the entire electromagnetic spectrum, it would instead simply be able to construct pictures from the ubiquity of microwave radiation from cell-phones & their ilk...!
A hand-held or wall mounted device would be able to take "X-ray" images of you at airports, supermarkets or grade-schools it a perfectly harmless and passive manner...!
This is practically the same as a Phase Array Camera...