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 ")

Greenhouse Plugin Reveals Your Congressman's Money Sources
'Fuller details may be obtained by punching the code number...'- John Brunner, 1975

Michael Jackson, Resurrected
Singing an original song, no less.

Napping Station Now At UofM Library
'Then he strolled across the dayroom to the hypnoteleset...'- Pohl and Kornbluth, 1952.

Russia Bans Cursing, Demolition Man Morality Device Next
'John Spartan, you are fined five credits for repeated violations of the verbal morality statute.'- Demolition Man, 1993.

 

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

Japan Invites Robot Athletes To Gather For 2020 Olympics
It's time we started to get rid of that distinction between metal and flesh, and IC and neuron, don't you think?

CV Dazzle Anti-Surveillance Make-Up
Let's hear it for the vague blur!

LG Display's 18 Inch Flexible OLED Panel Is Awesomely Cool
'...a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling color.'

Tiniest Microphone Inspired By Fly
'Transmitting to its manipulator, far away now, all that it heard through its ear microphones...'

NASA's Highway In The Sky For Drones
Traffic is everywhere.

Palcohol Powdered Alcohol - Try Or Ban?
'I had a small can of powdered alcohol disguised as tooth powder...'

pd.id Personal Drink ID Device Like Dune 'Poison Snooper'
'The jeweled hands clutching drinks (and the unobtrusive inspections with tiny remote-cast snoopers)...'

Monsieur Bartending Robot
'He poured the liquids into his maw...'

Cities Detect Gunfire Acoustics With ShotSpotter
'Sound trackers on the roof...'

Cruise Automation's 'Highway Autopilot' For $10K
'It cut her out of the stream of vehicles and reduced the speed of her car...'

Pengheng Space Capsule Hotel Staffed Entirely By Robots
'A planet-wide chain of hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Electric Bacteria That Live On Pure Energy
'April 5, 1977; that was the night the waveries came.'

EXACTO Smart Bullet From DARPA
Nicely visualized in what 1984 movie?

Neural Implant To Treat Memory Loss
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

MIT's Shape-Shifting Robot Materials
The T-100, an advanced prototype, is made of liquid metal. Not quite ready.

LS3 AlphaDog Robot Marine Corps Video
'He admired the fast-plodding, articulated legs, so necessary since roads had degenerated...'

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.