A tricorder is a multifunction hand-held device useful for data sensing, analysis, and communication, with many abilities. Tricorder devices were originally designed by Vulcan scientists sometime during the 19th Century. Tricorders soon caught on to many other races to, such as Romulans and Klingons. Sometime after the Federation was founded, Starfleet Research and Development designed their own version of the Tricorder, which was much more advanced than others at the time. Currently, there are Starfleet, Vulcan, Romulan, Klingon, Bajoran, Cardassian, Ferengi, and Dominion versions on the tricorder.
The psychotricorder is a Starfleet tricorder specifically programmed for a psychologist's use in analyzing a patient. This version of the tricorder scans specific brainwave patterns during questioning of the patient, and is helpful in diagnosis and treatment of mental ailments and disorders. It may possesses a hypnosis-assist subroutine, as well as subroutines for lie-detection and amnesia analysis.
Medical models are equipped with sensors and analysis software tailored for medical diagnostic purposes. Although all tricorders have basic medical functions, medical tricorders are designed exclusively for medical purposes.
TR-530 Tricorder IEdit
The TR-530 Tricorder I (Type A) was the first tricorder designed for Starfleet use. In service from 2263 to the late-2270s, the standard Starfleet tricorder incorporated a segmented design. This tricorder, a generally square-shaped device, utilized three sections: a pivoting upper portion containing the display readout and controls; a compartmented mid-section containing data chips; and an adaptable lower portion, sometimes containing a hand-held sensor as with the medical tricorder. This model was mostly black with silver trim and featured a leather-like strap, allowing one to sling the tricorder over the shoulder when not in use.
The Type B "Heavy-duty" model of the tricorder, and it's controls were located on the top of the unit. It was used primarily to detect contamination caused by ores and gases, as well as to register radiation and atmospheric pressure.
TR-540 Tricorder IIEdit
Smaller than the Tricorder I, the new hand-held Starfleet tricorder was blue-gray in color and featured two grips on either side of the body. Controls and readout displays were located beneath a lid at the top of the device. It was used from 2267 to the late-2280s, when yet another model was designed.
TR-550 Tricorder IIEdit
Harking back to the designs of the 2260s, a second tricorder option in use during the mid-2290s featured a familiar square, black and silver design. Much smaller than the heavy-duty version, this model featured a slide-up top studded with controls and indicator lights. Also incorporating a strap, the tricorder could be slung over the shoulder when not in use. Unlike its predecessors, this tricorder possessed control surfaces over much of the body of the instrument.
The Type B "Heavy-duty" model of the TR-550 Tricorder II was released at the same time as the Type A model. The Type B model was mainly used for away-missions.
TR-560 Tricorder IVEdit
Created in the year 2298 and used until the mid- 2360s, the TR-560 Tricorder IV was much more advanced than any previous models. This model a more streamlined appearance, distinguished by a flip-open design maximizing both portability and interface surface availability.
Incorporating several sensor clusters, these tricorders featured multi-channel communications assemblies, and multiple databank modules. Encompassing visual displays and graphic touch pad interfaces, the tricorder of the 2360s provided easy means for on the spot archive retrieval, the recording of away mission events, and constant scientific measurements including biological, geographical or meteorological.
TR-570 Tricorder VIEdit
In service as early as 2361, the TR-560 Tricorder VI model has an array of sensors on the front of the device, this tricorder design flipped open to reveal a large number of control surfaces and a square display screen, roughly the same size as those utilized as early as the 2260s. Equipped with a small hand sensor, stowed below the sensors, the TR-560 tricorder was capable of communicating with non-Starfleet computer systems, and were therefore vulnerable to some computer viruses, even capable of transmitting them to other systems. Gray in color, these tricorders were constructed with a durable casing, but could easily be destroyed by a phaser set to "disintegrate".
TR-580 Tricorder VIIEdit
Retaining the same basic shape as the previous design, the TR-580s also incorporated hand sensors. TR-580s could be used for a variety of tasks, including recording time trials and playing holographic messages. This model featured a directory structure and built-in universal translator. To prevent interference with objects, the TR-580 could be set to perform a passive scan. The model could also be locked into a continuous scan, thereby recording data, even when stowed. Capable of communicating with non-Starfleet computer systems, the tricorder could be linked to other units, acting as a small computer network, easily relaying information to other locations.
Sensor emissions from TR-580s could cause unpredictable changes in certain temporal distortions, and sometimes included polaric fields, allowing a user to scan for subspace fractures caused by polaric detonation.
TR-590 Tricorder XEdit
Succeeding the TR-580 Tricorder VII, the TR-590 Mark X Tricorder featured nearly identical control interfaces. The entire unit, however, was streamlined and made much smaller, featuring a more angular design. Mark Xs were stored in most equipment lockers on board Federation starships.
TR-890 Tricorder XIEdit
Introduced as late as 2379, the Tricorder XV departed from the distinct, flip-open style preceding it. Distinguished by a slim, PADD-like appearance, the tricorder in use aboard such Starfleet vessels as the USS Enterprise-E in the late 2370s featured a large touchscreen interface. Silver in color, it was trimmed with black pads at the bottom and sides, with several buttons at the top. These buttons could be covered by a small hinged door, lined with indicator lights. Among common data-gathering tasks, this version tricorder could be used to interface with starship systems including force field control.
TR-890 Tricorder XVEdit
During a possible version of the 29th century, the crew of the timeship USS Relativity used a slim and sleek version of the tricorder, labeled a TR-890 Tricorder XV.