Damnit, Jim, there's an app for that!
November 12, 2009 10:33 AM   Subscribe

Star Trek Tricorders are becoming reality. Not a doctor? Not a problem. There's an iPhone app that detects killer gasses in the air. There's one for Android phones that detects magnetic and gravitational fields and displays solar activity. This device doesn't do anything particularly useful other than play music, but it looks damned cool. Another iPhone app that's just for fun, presented by the geekiest guy ever.
posted by desjardins (35 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I was thinking about the iPhone as a handy post-zombiepocalyse tool the other day. The GPS and compass are already great. If there are one-chip solutions for killer gases (as the third link suggests) and radiation (as I humbly request), Apple might as well include them.

Damn thing's got everything else in there already anyway.
posted by rokusan at 10:37 AM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I highly approve of the future. And now we're in it.
posted by grubi at 10:38 AM on November 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yes, We're in the future. The stupid, stupid future.
posted by boo_radley at 10:46 AM on November 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


an iPhone app that detects killer gasses in the air.

Goes great with the one that makes fart sounds.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:56 AM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Until we're all wearing matching jumpsuits, it is not the future.
posted by The World Famous at 11:05 AM on November 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


I love that the tricorder PMP video is all about the box. Because, yes, that's clearly what your potential customer base gives a shit about. I don't care how tricorderey it actually is, I need specs on the cardboard.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:05 AM on November 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


For the last time, they're speedsuits.
posted by nushustu at 11:07 AM on November 12, 2009 [7 favorites]


middleclasstool, the dude has a bunch of other videos on his YT channel that don't involve boxes, I just picked that one because it wasn't with a crappy camera.
posted by desjardins at 11:08 AM on November 12, 2009


We're not in the Star Trek future until I can live out my fantasy of beating to death an Irishman on an alien world inhabited by samurai and giant rabbiys with pocket watches.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:11 AM on November 12, 2009


For the last time, they're speedsuits.

Watch some old video of jumpsuit-era Elvis. I don't think he was particularly speedy.
posted by The World Famous at 11:12 AM on November 12, 2009


Star Trek Tricorders are becoming reality.

As in I'm going to be able to buy a hunk of plastic to move my plotlines forward in ridiculous ways? "No, I'm sorry, but we aren't going to be able to see your mother, as there is a dense cloud of Berchtold radiation coming from her direction."
posted by Ironmouth at 11:16 AM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sorry The World Famous. I wasn't trying to disagree with you. Just quoting Dr. Venture.
posted by nushustu at 11:19 AM on November 12, 2009


I have devices implanted by my creator in my head that detect solar activity. I also have snsors that detect certain gasses in the air. I even have devices for detecting certain sound wave frequencies.

I'm not an iPhone.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:20 AM on November 12, 2009


I do not, however, have a functional spell checker.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:21 AM on November 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I remember when my friend tried to get me started on Star Trek. I didn't get the made up nomenclature yet (Dilithium crystals, etc), so I asked what the Tricorder actually did. He then, in all earnestness, said that it detects three things, but that he couldn't remember what they were.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:24 AM on November 12, 2009


implanted by my creator

ORLY? I guess I'm better than you: my systems are the latest in evolved biotech.

Even this stupid, junky arthritic knee.
posted by grubi at 11:25 AM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sorry The World Famous. I wasn't trying to disagree with you. Just quoting Dr. Venture.

Crap. I'm ashamed to have discovered a limit to my geekiness.
posted by The World Famous at 11:39 AM on November 12, 2009


Until we're all wearing matching jumpsuits

Let's just hope you aren't in red...
posted by sundri at 11:45 AM on November 12, 2009


Until we're all wearing matching jumpsuits

Let's just hope you aren't in red...


I'm sort of hoping to avoid orange, too.
posted by The World Famous at 11:46 AM on November 12, 2009


My access to tricorder-type application is what will determine my next cell-phone purchase. It has to be a folding phone though.
posted by fuq at 12:08 PM on November 12, 2009


We're not in the Star Trek future until I can live out my fantasy of beating to death an Irishman on an alien world inhabited by samurai and giant rabbiys with pocket watches.

...you wanna buy some drugs?
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:29 PM on November 12, 2009


reminded me of this.
posted by HumanComplex at 12:30 PM on November 12, 2009


Tricorders? Please.
Phasers? Um, no.

Everyone knows that the real money is in holodecks.

Oh yeah.
posted by willmize at 12:43 PM on November 12, 2009


Someone wrote a metal detector ap for my G1 and it actually works. Except it doesn't work with Aluminum so I can actually tell if something that looks metal is aluminum or not. It's pretty cool.

I was thinking about the iPhone as a handy post-zombiepocalyse tool the other day. The GPS and compass are already great.

How long do you think the GPS satellites will keep operating after a zombie apocalypse? Not to mention, does the iPhone store it's own map data? Seems like it wouldn't be that helpful without the ability to add new programs, or write your own software (unlike an Android phone).

Well, I guess you could jailbreak it.
posted by delmoi at 1:12 PM on November 12, 2009


One of the real things I like about developing (self links again: 1, 2) for the iPhone (and Mac OS, as there isn't much difference) is how fucking rich the environment is. Usually I really only have to focus on the things that makes my own apps interesting, most of the rest is scaffolding that's a quick search in the documentation away. It really feels like you're standing on the shoulders of giants, and I've seen some medical apps that are just awesome.

I assume developing for the droid is similar, although I don't have personal experience with it. It's no surprise these new phones are demolishing the traditional phone market. Just look at the growth, and how Nokia is suffering...

Both these systems are unlocking the imagination of a new generation of developers. I love it. And I love the innovation coming out of it, and I can't wait to see how this will grow in the next few years.

And I can't help but laugh loudly in the face of Steve Ballmer: [Quote:]
There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.
posted by DreamerFi at 1:19 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Watch some old video of jumpsuit-era Elvis. I don't think he was particularly speedy.

I'm pretty certain you're wrong, there.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:42 PM on November 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


Watch some old video of jumpsuit-era Elvis. I don't think he was particularly speedy.

*Waves iPhone*. . . .He's dead, Jim.
posted by Danf at 2:10 PM on November 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Matching jumpsuits, you say? I think nothing could decrease the birth rate, (not even bisphenol A) quite as effectively as putting your average person in a skin-tight, one-piece outfit.

MAN: Let's make a baby.
WOMAN: I see your mother was exposed to large amounts of parabens, pthalate and bisphenol A.
MAN: How can you tell? And how's about that baby-making?
WOMAN: Jumpsuit. And not a chance in hell.
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 2:43 PM on November 12, 2009


How long do you think the GPS satellites will keep operating after a zombie apocalypse?

5-10 years. But... c'mon, do you really really really need GPS and a compass to avoid zombies?

I'm pretty sure that staring at your iPhone while wandering about the wasteland is going to be a positive survival strategy...

And, as for directions? Why? There would be enough stuff to salvage in any general area that if you wanted to keep moving, you'd just move south and/or westwards to get to a warmer climate.

Did the roads & signs suddenly dissappear?

Hell - with the absence of the vast majority of humanity, frankly I wouldn't need a GPS to tell me which is the fastest route, I'd just barrel along, shooting anything that moved...
posted by jkaczor at 2:54 PM on November 12, 2009


(...is not going to be a positive strategy... sigh, I blame my h1n1 fever... dammit, I'm already infected and delerious...)
posted by jkaczor at 2:56 PM on November 12, 2009


clearly they need to make an iPhone app that shoots zombies.
posted by desjardins at 3:14 PM on November 12, 2009


i think the geekiest guy ever pulled a muscle.
posted by mexican at 7:29 PM on November 12, 2009


I was thinking about the iPhone as a handy post-zombiepocalyse tool the other day.

While I don't want to turn this into a discussion on the merits or demerits of the iphone, I gotta say this: I was on a remote beach in Borneo a few months back and I can tell you that the iPhone was completely useless, except in listening to The Eagles and other songs. It didn't even pick up the regular GSM signal, which my other phone (I carry two phones, local and international SIM's) picked up effortlessly. The iPhone is a nicely engineered product that does a lot of things, but let's not kid ourselves; it works best in urban/ semi-urban settings, not in end-of-the-world situations.
posted by the cydonian at 10:17 PM on November 12, 2009


clearly they need to make an iPhone app that shoots zombies.

Already there. :-)
posted by the cydonian at 10:18 PM on November 12, 2009


Astro Zombie: "giant rabbiys with pocket watches."

So far I have figured out that there is a spelling error, still to be determined is whether you meant rabbits or rabbis.
posted by idiopath at 2:28 PM on November 13, 2009


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