The first of these devices are supplies found on The Gadget. Highly developed sensor packages with analytical capacity and a direct link to the more powerful computer of the ship itself.
he usefulness of the tricorder is self evident and a team was put on replicating it as quickly as possible. Three years of steady work got them a limited sensor package the size of a desk with a range of 5 meters on a good day. It required three people to run it and a portable generator. However, it worked and that was the main thing.
Tricorder TwoEditA further year's development had it down to the size of a briefcase, running on batteries and needing only a crew of two. This model has been made available to the general public. At $15,000.00 US it isn't going to become a party favor. The Tricorder Two as it is called has no better functionality than the desk sized Tricorder One, but you can move it without a truck.
Tricorder ThreeEditBy 2012 the basic idea have been reduced to a pistol grip instrument that one person can operate. Tricorder Three weighs in at five pounds, costs $7000.00 US and has only a five hour battery life. (Krellite cells bump that to five days) It is smaller than a breadbox, and has the same acuity as Tricorder Two. The size factor is much better and development continues to improve the sensor fidelity and range, as well as weight and battery life.
In 2016 Tricorder Four was introduced. It has improved sensor fidelity and range, it can now read a range of 10 meters and get molecular level fidelity. The size and weight are the same. Battery life is no longer an issue. The cost is down to $5000.00.
There is also available a Tricorder 3.5. It has the same issues for fidelity and range, but is the size and weight of a phone. The cost is down to $3000.00. It is still a dedicated instrument.
Tricorder Four also has a medical unit designed specifically to read biosigns. Wave it over a patient and get vital signs, pathogens, toxins, and evidence of tumors. The same five pound format and price.
A variant of the tricorder is the bio bed. A remote vital signs sensor attached to your hospital bed being developed at the Mayo Clinic. They are less concerned with the portable aspect.