Five Star Trek Captains Mind Meld About the Tricorder Becoming a Reality
London (October 22, 2012) — Just as Star Trek changed the face of television, the XPRIZE Foundation and Qualcomm Foundation hope to help consumers live long and prosper through the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, a global competition that encourages the development of the one device that is predominantly showcased in every Star Trek series, yet hasn’t made the transition from fantasy to reality – the medical tricorder.
Through this competition, teams will push the final frontiers of healthcare by leveraging technology innovation in areas such as artificial intelligence and wireless sensing – similar to a Star Trek tricorder – putting healthcare in the palm of your hands.
The Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE successfully completed one of its most challenging missions today, getting a thumbs up from its toughest critics – the five Starfleet captains as well as more than 30,000 “Trekkies” that converged in London for the historic Destination Star Trek London event. This is the first time all five captains from the Star Trek TV Series have appeared on stage together in Europe.
“I think it is an absolutely brilliant idea,” said Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway – Star Trek: Voyager™) about the tricorder becoming a reality. “It could be so beneficial and so important in so many ways. A pretty significant, groundbreaking, and could be breathtaking accomplishment.”
The entertainment industry has long inspired real-world innovation, and even though technology moves at warp-speed, a lot of this technology was first conceptualized by writers for the screen. The first tricorder appeared on Star Trek's initial episode in 1966, when Captain Kirk swaggered toward audiences with his Phaser holstered to his side and a tricorder in his hand. Since then, Spock, Dr. McCoy and other space adventurers have used the hand-held device for data sensing, analysis and recording – and even to diagnose crew illnesses simply by waving a handheld instrument over patients and gleaning an instantaneous readout of vital signs and other information about their physical conditions.
"Through smart, thought-provoking science fiction, my father used the TV series, Star Trek, to challenge audiences to envision a better world," said Rod Roddenberry, co-founder and chairman of The Roddenberry Foundation and CEO of Roddenberry Entertainment. "Just as Star Trek changed the face of television, the outcome of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE will help change the future of healthcare for everyone.”
The $10 million top prize will be awarded to the team that develops a mobile platform that most accurately diagnoses a set of 15 conditions across 30 consumers in three days. Teams must also deliver this information in a way that provides a compelling consumer experience while capturing real time, critical health metrics such as blood pressure, respiratory rate and temperature. The winning solutions will enable consumers in any location to quickly and effectively assess health conditions, determine if they need professional help and answer the question, “What do I do next?” when it comes to their health.
For more information about the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, visit: http://tricorder.xprize.org.
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