A life-form analyzer was a portable sensor package that could be carried by an individual, or linked to the computer systems of land vehicles or starships. They aggregated information and provided information on the structure and nature of life forms within its range. Life-form analyzers determined the nature of life-forms by using a combination of computer algorithms, sensor scans, and life form indicators to identify life forms. They could not, however, identify unknown life forms. Life-form analyzers used a myriad of factors to determine the identity of a life form, including heart rate, ambient atmosphere, respiratory byproducts, molecule-chain EM polarization effects, and heat signatures.