In the Star Trek Voyager episode: "Future's End":

JANEWAY: Welcome to the twenty fourth century. I took the precaution of removing your tricorder. That's what it's called, by the way.

STARLING: It didn't work. Should have blocked your ship's teleporter.

JANEWAY: It works perfectly. You just don't know how to use it.

Obviously it has advanced features like being able to block a 24th century transporter lock. What did Janeway do with it? Did she keep it? Did she or the Federation gain any benefits from the advanced technology?

Any STU or EU references are welcomed.

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    I can find no further reference to it. Logical guesses: the revised-timeline Capt. Braxton reclaimed it off screen, the Department of Temporal Investigations confiscated it, Janeway used it in the pre-Endgame timeline to eventually get them home, Janeway used it in the post-Endgame timeline to give the Alpha Quadrant an edge over The Borg. – Politank-Z May 24 '15 at 8:48
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    Given Janeway's near absolute adherence to the Temporal Prime Directive (at least at this point in the series, later she decides that the Directive can suck it) she probably just destroyed it. – Valorum May 24 '15 at 9:18
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    @Politank-Z It is unlikely Braxton took it. If he was that concerned then he would have also taken the Doctor's mobile emitter. – Xantec Jun 10 '15 at 5:17

TV Canon

We don't know.

On the one hand, Janeway is almost pathetically eager to follow the Temporal Prime Directive and return to the Delta Quadrant with Braxton (instead of just performing a few near-lightspeed trips around the nearest star to eat up a couple of hundred years). On the other hand, she doesn't think twice about holding onto the mobile emitter, a piece of 29th Century tech so advanced that it could (and nearly does) result in a dramatic technical advantage to any race that lays its hands on it.

In the absence of any info from the episode, the most likely outcome seems to be that they kept it for study, but that this resulted in no dramatic advances (or at least none worthy of mention).

EU Canon

In the novel 'Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock', Janeway has a brief conversation about the mobile emitter. It would seem that while 29th Century tech is advanced, the underlying principles aren't all that and a bag of chips.

“On Stardate 50312, you allowed your Emergency Medical Hologram to keep a mobile holo-emitter based on twenty-ninth-century technology, rather than confiscating and destroying that technology.”

“The Doctor needed that mobility to be able to do his job at peak efficiency. I couldn’t risk having my ship’s only medical officer trapped in sickbay indefinitely.”

“And didn’t you think about the consequences to Federation technological progress once you got back?”

“Frequently. But I studied the device. Whatever century it came from, its operating principles weren’t too far ahead of the current state of the art. I expected that by the time we got home, probably decades in the future, the technology would already have caught up.”

  • "eat up a couple hundred years": Nope -- See this. We have no evidence that that kind of real-world time dilation exists in Star Trek. Or if it does, then it maybe be that sublight technology does not allow acceleration to high enough velocities. – ThePopMachine Feb 25 '16 at 1:15
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    @ThePopMachine - We have a canon source (the TNG Technical Guide) which specifically advises against near-lightspeed travel without the use of a warp bubble, precisely because it can lead to relativistic effects. – Valorum Feb 25 '16 at 1:46
  • @ThePopMachine - Or they could just freeze themselves. We know the Voyager has enough stasis pods and we know from "Space Seed" that even 200+ years, they had reliable cryogenics tech. – Valorum Feb 25 '16 at 1:47

There were two future tricorders lost by Captain Braxton recovered by Janeway. I prefer to think Janeway held onto Henry Starling's stolen 29th century tricorder (Future's End) and placed it in a secure location on Voyager for perhaps both ongoing, shipboard research and analysis as well as obvious later study by Starfleet's finest scientific minds. The mobile emitter despite being such a valuable and potentially powerful piece of technology was stored in a tray in sickbay; at one point stolen and replaced with a facsimile (Critical Care). Next to Braxton's first 29th century tricorder in that secure cabinet is Captain Braxton's other future tricorder that was damaged by 7 of 9 in the episode "Relativity" and presumably left damaged on the mess hall deckplate. It was probably swept up by Neelix.

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    Can you provide episode summaries or links to these claims? – Edlothiad Aug 2 '17 at 0:05

Starling is actually from the 20th Century. He stole Captain Braxton's 29th Century ship when Braxton crash-landed in 20th C. The tricorder he stole was from the 24th Century, not 29th, so was therefore familiar to Janeway.

  • "The tricorder he stole was from the 24th Century" - it's possible this is true, but where do you take this bit of information from? – O. R. Mapper Jun 9 '15 at 12:34
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    I've never heard of a 24th century tricorder being able to block a transporter beam. If they were capable of this I would think in the 500+ episodes of TNG, DS9, and VOY it would have been tried or mentioned at least once. Generally only shielding like a ships shield, a natural phenomenon like an ion storm, certain materials, or too much rock, or manufactured materials like detirium, can block a transporter beam. A 24th century tricorder does not have that capability, if it does I can name multiple episodes where it would have been considered as an option. – JMFB Jun 9 '15 at 18:26
  • @JMFB And yet oddly a 24th century tricorder can override a bridge command blocking site to site transports, as seen in VOY Mortal Coil. – Xantec Jun 10 '15 at 5:20
  • @Xantec that's different. Even in today's world I could create a device that excels in specific areas and could override another more powerful computers programming in that specific area. A computer virus could be an example of this. However, in this case they already had a lock on him. What could a normal 24th century tricorder do to block a transporter beam once they have a lock and the object has already been transferred over? A Tricorder doesn't really emit much unless it's altered, it's more for taking readings. Even amongst tricorders they can be different, medical, etc. – JMFB Jun 10 '15 at 6:23
  • @JMFB Another possibility is that Starling could just have assumed that the tricorder had that functionality, not really knowing how to use it and misinterpreting the tricorders limitations? After all, Janeway's dialog heavily implies that he isn't too experienced with it. – Katai Aug 17 '15 at 9:22

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