Get Alien Vision And See New Colors!

One aspect of science fiction that I particularly treasure is the ability to imagine what it would be like to be an intelligent non-human alien. SF writers are free to imagine different capabilities; for example, what would it be like to see more colors?

Consider this conversation between an alien (male) from Vega and a human woman:

"...Let me take that flower from your hair. There. What do you see?"

"A pretty white flower. That's why I picked it and put it in my hair."

"But it is not a pretty white flower. Not to me, anyhow. Your eyes perceive light with wavelengths between about 4000 and 7200 angstrom units. The eyes of a Vegan look deeper into the ultraviolet, for one thing, down to around 3000. We are blind to what you refer to as "red", but on this 'white' flower I see two colors for which there are no words in your language. My body is covered with patterns you cannot see, but they are close enough to those of others in my family so that another Vegan, familiar with the Shtigogens could tell my family and provenance on our first meeting....
(From Roger Zelazny's 1966 novel This Immortal)

Take a look at this fascinating TED talk that describes the journey of artist Neil Harbisson, who was born entirely color blind. Thanks to a remarkable piece of bespoke technology, he learned to perceive colors. And much more.


(Neil Harbisson, an artist who hears colors)

"Eventually, I was able to differentiate 360 different colors, just like human vision. I was able to differentiate all of the degrees of the color wheel.

"But then, I thought that this human vision just wasn't good enough. There are many more colors around us that we cannot perceive, but which electronic eyes can perceive.

"So I decided to continue extending my color sense, and I added infrared and ultraviolet to the color-to-sound scale. So now I can hear colors that the human eye cannot perceive. For example, perceiving infrared is good because you can hear ... movement detectors in a room ... I can hear if someone points at me with a remote control. The good thing about perceiving ultraviolet is that you can hear if it is a good day or a bad day to sunbathe...

"I think we should all have this wish to perceive things that we cannot perceive..."

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/22/2014)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

Life In Detroit's 'Agrihood' - The First In The U.S.
'countless tiny brown circles in the green fields ...occasional ruins of ancient cities...' - Philip K. Dick, 1954.

3RDiTEK Lifeblogging Headband Camera
'It's logging anyway - everything you see on duty goes into the black box.' - Charles Stross, 2007.

Robot Lawyers And Robot Judges Now Everywhere
'The law clerk arrived, a smallish robot with a battered stainless steel hide and dull coppery features.' - Frederik Pohl, 1954.

Roam-e Flying Selfie Drone Cam
'Tight mid-shot and pull out on but behind me...' -Karen Traviss, 2004.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Honda To Offer Car With Emotions
'All the doors in this spaceship have a cheerful and sunny disposition.'

Just Eat And Starship Bring You Food Via Robot
'...its underside was studded with grilled sensors.'

Life In Detroit's 'Agrihood' - The First In The U.S.
'countless tiny brown circles in the green fields ...occasional ruins of ancient cities...'

Artificial 'Hairs' To Enhance Senses Of Robots
'Migul had extended from each of the fingertips an inch-long filament of wire...'

The Point Of View Of An Autonomous Car
'It is safe to say that the new model almost revolutionized America in more ways than one...'

You Can't Lose The Travelmate Autonomous Suitcase - It Follows You
'...follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound.'

ibotn Toddler-Care Mini-Robot
'She's not like a machine. She's like a person. A living person.'

Nuclear Batteries Based On Diamonds Last Millennia
'they just package it and ship it around to wherever people want it...'

Eighth Sense Emotion-Responsive Cloak
'This sensitivity to mood explains the real popularity of bio-fabrics...'

British Airways To Offer An Ingestible Sensor To Passengers
The modern way to get feedback from passengers.

Unique DNA To Foil Parts Counterfeiters
'... the only molecule, a unique protein amino acid, which could not be duplicated.'

MIT Researchers Predict The Future From Still Photos
'What I have in this camera is not a record of what you did just now but what will go on here in the next half hour...'

Mini Robot Uses 2 mm Surgical Tools
'... surgical tool - blades, tweezers, probes - so fine you could just see them with the naked eye.'

Childhood Dreams Of Space Realized! Space Junk Problem Solved!
'Give the noble daydreams a rest, you preachy rookie. Astronauts are wage slaves like everyone else!'

Writhing Robotic Tentacle Uses Laser To Chop Nuke Hardware
'... long, flexible, glittering tentacles... swinging and rattling about its strange body.'

LBNP Device Not Quite 'Artificial Gravity'
'Joe got out the gravity-simulator harnesses..'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.