The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson:
Science Fiction Inventions, Technology and Ideas

The novel takes place in a future Shanghai. Many different stories are woven together in this novel; the plot centers around a stolen supercomputer in the form of a small book, or Primer, created for a patron's daugher. Select an invention:

Aerostat Monitor - a small flying platform
A small flying platform, capable of maneuvering in three dimensions; can hover in place and communicate with others like it.

Ballisticules - nanomachines throw their weight around
Nanotechnology devices that throw their weight around.

Chevaline - robotic horse
An open robotic vehicle for one person, shaped like a horse.

Clave - a suburban enclave
Short for enclave (see also burbclave - autonomous suburban enclave)

Cookie-Cutters - bomblets in your bloodstream
Very small (corpuscle-sized) devices that can enter the blood stream and destroy an enemy from within.

Dog Pod Grid - aerostat defensive maneuver
A swarm of quasi-independent aerostatic devices.

Fabricules - squeaky clean nanomachine
Tiny bits of fabric that were self-cleaning; gloves made of this material always stayed clean.

Filter Wheel - stepwise refinement
A device for filtering liquid or gas to obtain a pure sample of a selected molecule.

Freedom Machine - nanotech birth control
A birth control device developed using nanotechnology.

Geotect
A person who creates landforms and physical environments

Immunocules - nanotechnology imitates life
Very small, lightweight objects able to move in three dimensions; they form a protective shield against airborne devices.

Implanted Credit Card - wherever you want it to be
A credit card system that could be surgically implanted; uses radio frequency identification to communicate with checkout hardware.

Jodie Grid
A 'tattoo' that provides points for mapping your face into a grid.

Lithocule - building block
Tiny intelligent building blocks.

Matter Compiler - stereolithography on steroids
A device that builds the desired article (such as a dress) atom by atom according to a specified design.

Mediaglyphic - animated symbols
Animated symbols to help those who haven't bothered to learn to read in a multimedia age.

Mediatron - paper-thin LCD display
A paper-thin networked computer display.

Mediatronic Display
Electronic paper comes in big sheets.

Mite - very small machine helpers
A very small device (about the size of a dust mite) that has been manufactured for a particular purpose.

Nanomachine Lidar - radar with visible light
Radar-like system that uses electromagnetic radiation at optical frequencies (visible light) for range-finding and analysis.

Nurse Drone
A larger flying platform to provide power to smaller drones.

Pedomotive - power stilts
A kind of stilt-like leg extenders; take longer strides, get there faster. Extreme sports gear.

Phantoscope (phenomenoscope) - see it all
A device that provides you with a computer-operable display; can be worn or surgically implanted right on your own eyes.

Phased Acoustical Array - hear it all
An music system implanted right on your eardrum.

Primer
A special software program that teaches basic language skills.

Runcible - every page an LCD screen
A book made of smart paper; every page is a flexible LCD (liquid crystal display) screen.

Sights - skull gun crosshairs
Sunglasses-mounted crosshairs (you'll need one with your skull gun).

'Sites - nanobots are your friends
Small parasites that cause muscles to twitch in sequence for strength.

Skullgun - cock cranium and fire
A pistol that is concealed in your cranium.

Sky-Eye
A football-sized flying surveillance device.

Smart Paper - thin-film transistor display
A very slim thin-film transistor display.

Smartcoral Reef - water purifying reef
An artificial coral reef that pulls water in for use in large communities.

Toner - dead nanobot bits
Dead bits of nanomachines.

 

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