The latest gizmo that has come into being that originally made its debut back in 1966? How about a tricorder?
Purdue University researchers have demonstrated a portable instrument that they claim can identify any substance in less than a second, much like the "tricorders" used by the crew of the Enterprise in the Star Trek series.
The 20-pound, battery-powered unit combines a mass spectrometer with a desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) source.
Given the progress of nanotechnology I have no doubt the 20-pound device will end up being about the size of a largish book within 5 years, just about the size of the “original” tricorder that Spock and McCoy carried around.