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"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Eyecaps  
  Corneal cap that acts as a pair of goggles for extreme depth diving.  

Psychological distance and isolation are important themes in the book. The use of eyecaps, which conceal the eyes, are used to great advantage in emphasizing the isolation of the characters.

There are mirrors everywhere in Beebe; they're supposed to increase the apparent size of one's personal space. Sometimes Clarke shuts her eyes to hide from the reflections forever being thrown back at her. It doesn't help. She clenches her lids and feels the corneal caps beneath them, covering her eyes like smooth white cataracts.
From Starfish, by Peter Watts.
Published by Tor Books in 1999
Additional resources -

Eyecaps are used as photomultipliers, making it possible to see in extremely low light levels. At the depths explored in the novel, greater than 2000 feet, the ocean is absolutely dark. The only illumination comes from occasional magama flows and from bioluminescent fish.

The eyecap is an interesting throwback to the earliest eye-goggles; Persian divers used underwater eye-goggles made from polished shells.

Compare to magic spectacles from Pygmalion's Spectacles (1935) by Stanley G. Weinbaum, video glasses from Islands in the Net (1988) by Bruce Sterling, Tru-Vu Lenses from Earth (1990) by David Brin, data goggles from Snow Crash (1992) by Neal Stephenson, overlay specs from Halting State (2007) by Charles Stross and HUD glasses from Daemon (2009) by Daniel Suarez.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Starfish
  More Ideas and Technology by Peter Watts
  Tech news articles related to Starfish
  Tech news articles related to works by Peter Watts

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