A scanner is a generic term referring to a hand-held sensory device. Scanners were common during the mid-22nd century and used by a variety of space-faring cultures and institutions such as Starfleet, the Earth Sciences Institute, Ferengi privateers, the Suliban Cabal, and the Vulcan High Command.
Sometimes referred to as a hand scanner, the Starfleet scanner was common during the 2150s. Distinguished by a square-shaped body lined with black grips, this scanner featured a display and interface that could be closed, making the device more compact for storage. (ENT: "Broken Bow")
Capable of performing general sensory functions such as generating floor plan views, and locating bio-signs, these scanners were also equipped with quantum dating technology, yielding at least generally accurate results. (ENT: "Dead Stop", "The Expanse", "Carpenter Street")
These devices were also capable of interfacing with and potentially overriding vastly different computer systems. Sent back to the 21st century, Starfleet Captain Jonathan Archer successfully tampered with a 2004 ATM and overrode the automatic locking mechanism of a Dodge Ram truck. (ENT: "Carpenter Street")
Despite its versatility, the hand scanner was, at times, somewhat inaccurate. It sometimes could not separate Human (or even humanoid) biosigns from that of other species. It was also susceptible to certain forms of temporal interference. (ENT: "Doctor's Orders", "Broken Bow")
This palm-sized scanner was distinguished by a large, blue-glowing display screen and interface, with two rows of blue-glowing lights opposite. The medical scanner was able to perform simple diagnostic functions such as reading vital signs and internal scans. It could also be used much like the Starfleet hand scanner, used to scan a specific area for general bio-signs.
Larger in size than either the hand or medical scanners, a heavy-duty model was also available aboard Earth starships during the 2150s.
Characterized by a thick, rectangular body held horizontally, this scanner also featured a metallic handle to the left of a rectangular display screen and control buttons. It could be used to view graphic representations of the inside of devices such as the Romulan mine that struck the NX-01 in 2152. (ENT: "Minefield")
Earth Sciences Institute
Available to members of the Earth Sciences Institute including researchers of the A-6 Excavation Team during the 2150s, was a small, angular scanner. Dominated by a large, rectangular, green-glowing display screen, this scanner included a long, irregularly shaped input area with a number of button controls.
The device could be used to identify technology buried beneath snow and could differentiate organic matter from inorganic matter. Researcher Rooney successfully identified a warp coil buried in the Arctic Circle debris field with the scanner, though it was actually a Borg transwarp coil. (ENT: "Regeneration")
Also utilized by the ESI and A-6 Excavation Team was a large, oval-shaped device used for medical scans.
Distinguished by a small, circular readout and several circular buttons lining the periphery of the device, this scanner could detect, among other things, changes in bio-functions.
Also similar in design and shape to the Vulcan scanner, the hand held sensing device utilized by members of the Suliban Cabal featured a rounded interface area, with an extended handle. Mottled-brown in color, this scanner also featured a purple readout.
Vulcan High Command
Similar in shape and design as its 21st century counterpart, the scanner used by the Vulcans during the 2150s was also a dome-shaped sensor, with a triangular handle. This device, however, was distinguished by a silver colored readout portion and a blue handle, with black grips. The viewer itself displayed readings in Vulcan script with a generally purple-color glow, the grip featured an array of button controls. (ENT: "Broken Bow")
The Vulcan scanner possessed a maximum scanning radius of three kilometers and performed the same general function as the Earth Starfleet hand scanner. Vulcan sensors, however, were commonly known to be superior during that time. (ENT: "Carpenter Street", "Broken Bow")
As early as 2153, Vulcans doctors in the service of the High Command were equipped with distinct medical scanners.
Featuring a similarly dome-shaped readout section, this scanner also featured a dome-shaped lower, control portion. It was also distinguished by yellow indicator lights on each side of the display screen.