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Working Pip-Boy 3000 designed for astronauts

A 3D-printed prototype wearable designed for astronauts takes its inspiration directly from the screens of the Fallout series.

Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET

Zachariah Perry Cruse's working Pip-Boy 3000 replica was the real deal, but it was pretty limited in what it could do -- and who could have one. But, if the concept could be modified with practical application for your work or day-to-day life, and made available to everyone, wouldn't it be amazing?

That's kind of what a team of coders has done for NASA's SpaceWearables: Fashion Designer to Astronauts challenge. Taking the design and concept straight out of Fallout, Team Reno has designed a 3D-printable Pip-Boy 3000.

"We wanted to make a piece of popular science fiction into a reality so we chose the Pip-Boy 3000 from the game Fallout 3," Team Reno wroteon its submission page. "The goal was to bring environmental sensors into an easy-to-use cuff device that could help a wearer determine if their environment is safe for navigation or helmet removal."

An iPhone 5 with Bluetooth Low Energy is used as the brains of the device, running an app that displays a Pip-Boy-inspired interface. Instead of showing a video-game HUD, though, it displays environmental information -- relative humidity; altitude, latitude and longitude; atmospheric pressure; ambient temperature; object temperature; and radiation.

Of course, the iPhone can't detect all this on its own. Also tucked into the 3D-printed case is a home-made Geiger counter, as well as a microcontroller. Team Reno hoped to add a Bluetooth EEG monitor, for measuring heart rate, and some communications features, but ran out of time.

Although most of these features wouldn't necessarily be useful in day-to-day life, there's nothing stopping others from developing their own apps, since the team has made the project open source. All source code is available on GitHub, and the 3D print files are available free to download from Thingiverse.