upontheturtlesback writes: "Another example of Star Trek technology becoming a reality. In light of the recent Tricorder X-Prize announcement, Dr. Peter Jansen has openly released the designs for a series of Science Tricorders that he developed while a graduate student at McMaster University. The Science Tricorders are capable of sensing a variety of atmospheric, electromagnetic, and spatial phenomena. Where the Science Tricorder Mark 1 is a relatively easy-to-build proof of concept, the Science Tricorder Mark 2 runs linux and resembles a cross between a Nintendo DS and scientific instrument with dual OLED touch displays. An exciting video shows them in action, and describes the project goal of creating general scientific tools for learning about and visualizing the world, as well as their importance for science education by helping kids ground abstract concepts like magnetism or polarization visually. The hardware schematics, board layouts, and firmware source are freely available on the Tricorder project website under various open licenses."