It seems perhaps a trifle churlish therefore to point out that there is similar functionality in other products under development, such as Wello, which looks like it is going to become available about the same time, too. However the Wello slips over your phone so is much less intrusive and, some would say, has more cool. There are of course a bunch of competitors for the Tricorder X prize too, perhaps most famously the Scanadu Scout.
To explain where the lemmings come in, this reviewer went to a Wayra event recently (at which there were some brilliant pitches, especially from Cookiesmart (telepathology), Handle My Health, My Clinical Outcomes, Virtually Free and BreakBad, that we hope to cover in a future blog).
On arrival, the warm-up had already started, given by a financier who asked if anyone remembered Star Trek. He went on to say how wonderful it was that we were now within reach of developing a Tricorder. That got this reviewer thinking that actually we will in one sense shortly be ahead of Startrek: if the predictions of companies like Leman Micro as given at a recent RSM event turn out to be correct, mobile phones will not only be the Communicator, in mid 2015 they will also be the Tricorder too as vital signs measurement becomes a mobile phone feature.
All these Tricorder lookalikes therefore risk heading for the same precipice that many wearables are already close to, as mobiles absorb their functionality (and if this reviewer’s experience is anything to go by, are rather more reliable too).
So which Star Trek functionality might be next? Perhaps it’ll be a little while before mobiles become real Transporters? Hopefully mobiles will not develop Phaser functionality though (except for 007 and their like, perhaps). Then of course there’s Warp drive…