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Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE Encourages Innovation

The tricorder is one of Star Trek’s most recognizable technologies. Unlike handheld communicators and the PADD, the tricorder does not yet exist in our world. The Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE is one inventive avenue into the development of this technology, particularly the medical tricorder.

The Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE is a $10 million competition from the XPRIZE Foundation, sponsored by Qualcomm. Its goal is to promote the creation of integrated medical diagnostic systems that will put healthcare in the palm of your hand.

Teams from around the world entered this competition, with entries due by May 2014. Consumer testing of submitted products will begin in May 2015, with the winning technology announced in January 2016.

The day is near when you will be doing your best Beverly Crusher impersonation in the comfort of your own home. The time to stock up on orange wigs is now.

Mojave Aerospace Ventures is a previous XPRIZE winner for developing the suborbital SpaceShipOne.


Microsoft Develops Universal Translator Technology

Many of Star Trek’s technologies once seemed like far-fetched plot devices with only a faint basis in reality. Today, many of these imagined devices — like communicators, padds, and even tricorders — have proven Star Trek’s ability to predict and inspire the future of technology.

The Universal Translator was the ultimate plot device. Darmok and a few other exceptions aside, the device enabled Starfleet crews to speak directly with anyone they met, fluently and in a language TV audiences could understand.

Now, Universal Translator technology has entered reality. Microsoft has unveiled Skype Translator, a real-time translation program for video chat. This adaptation of text-based translation programs builds on decades of research and practice to include new video technology.

How long until someone programs it to understand Klingon?

Read more and watch a video demonstration of real-time translation here.

Learn more about video and text translation technologies here.


Emergency Rations: Travel Edition

Welcome to Emergency Rations, where each month we highlight details from the worlds of Star Trek and UFOP: SB118 to fuel your fandom, inspire your writing, and help bring your sim to life.

This month’s theme is vacation! We’re well in to vacation season here, and I haven’t gone any farther than the other side of town. In Star Trek, exciting destinations are only a transport away.

You have caught up on your reading; you have scrolled through all the forums; you have read the entire wiki again. You could use one more detail to close out your post before you get away. It’s time to break out the Emergency Rations…


Nestlé Developing Working Replicator

Like all good science fiction, Star Trek showed us the possibilities our future might hold. Some of these have become reality, from communicators that predicted cell phones, to PADDs that inspired the iPad.

One technology ubiquitous to Star Trek’s world that doesn’t yet exist in ours is the Replicator. Nestlé’s R&D wing seeks to change that – perhaps within a few decades.

The project, codenamed ‘Iron Man,’ is an extension of the company’s effort to analyze and map the nutritional needs of the individual. Eventually, it may be possible to meet these needs with a machine that synthesizes nutritional components into a custom-made meal.

Maybe this is more like the food synthesizer from Star Trek’s 1960s run. Maybe it won’t be able to meet your order of chocolate wobble with pistachio (and peach) like it did for Nurse Chapel. That’s okay – better not to spoil your supper.

Read more at the links below:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-22/nestle-aiming-to-develop-a-nespresso-of-nutrients.html

http://3dprint.com/7142/star-trek-replicator-nestle/


Emergency Rations: Party Down

Welcome to Emergency Rations, where each month we highlight details from the worlds of Star Trek and UFOP: SB118 to fuel your fandom, inspire your writing, and help bring your sim to life.

This month’s theme is Anniversaries. UFOP: SB118 is celebrating 20 years of simming excellence, and this column is a stunning two months old! In honor of these achievements, we’re looking at the milestones your character might celebrate in their 24th century life.

You have caught up on your reading; you have scrolled through all the forums; you have read the entire wiki again. Maybe you’re celebrating your 20th post this week, and need the inspiration for just one more. A toast to your creativity! It’s time to break out the Emergency Rations…


Emergency Rations: Planting Ideas

Welcome to Emergency Rations, where each month we highlight details from the worlds of Star Trek and UFOP: StarBase 118 to fuel your fandom, inspire your writing, and help bring your sim to life.

This month, we’re thinking about Flora. Plants. Arboreal life forms, even. April showers bring May flowers, and sometimes, May flowers bring terrifying alien death spores. What creativity will blossom at UFOP: StarBase 118 this month? Let’s find out.

You have caught up on your reading; you have scrolled through all the forums; you have read the entire wiki again. You’re still one idea short of writing that post, and it’s so frustrating you could pull your hair out by the roots and chuck your computer on the old compost pile. Relax. It’s time to break out the Emergency Rations…


Emergency Rations

Welcome to Emergency Rations, where each month we highlight details from the world of Star Trek to fuel your fandom, inspire your writing, and help bring your sim to life.

This month’s theme is feet, because that’s the kind of thing we do here.

You have caught up on all your reading; you have scrolled through all the forums; you have read the entire wiki again. You’re still one step short of writing that post, and this time, no amount of frantic pacing is going to help you. No sweat. It’s time to break out the Emergency Rations…