…but it’s still pretty cool.
The device, designed by German engineers, is actually a modified 3D printer, dubbed “Scotty” after the Starship Enterprise’s chief engineer in Star Trek.
The process works like this: Place an object inside Scotty #1, press the teleport button, and the object is scanned by a camera one layer at a time while a milling machine simultaneously destroys it.
According to The Telegraph, “by slicing the object into layers it is possible to get a detailed view of the object, even including any hollow cavities.” Then, a model created using information from the scan is sent to Scotty #2, where a replica is created.
But is destroying the original practical? I don’t know; you be the judge. According to the engineers themselves, ensuring that only one object remains preserves its uniqueness.
That’s one way human teleporters could work, as well: step inside, get disintegrated, and a new you is constructed at the destination of your (previous self’s) choice. I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with that, though, and I think you can see why.
There’s also still a problem with inaccuracies, but the engineers intend to work on those.
Speaking of human teleportation, some experts have actually predicted that we’ll be teleporting as soon as the year 2080, and maybe even time traveling by 2100.