SF Authors Have Wearable Computing Ideas
I've been looking at the recent ideas for the consumer technology called "wearables" - wrist-borne computing devices. I'm not that inspired. Mostly, they look like big wrist watches, and are secondary display devices for your smartphone (which you must also carry somewhere).
(Wearables - the next consumer product?)
So, I was wondering if sf authors have any useful ideas for devices that are either wearable or skin-implantable, and provide some sort of visible display outside the body.
Most of the ideas tend to combine a display with information that is of vital interest to the person and to others. For example, consider the palmflower from the 1967 novel Logan's Run by William Nolan and GC Johnson (the picture is from the 1976 movie of the same name starring Michael York):
"Show me your hand, Logan," said the psyc doctor.
"Do you know why you have this?" he said, tapping the palmflower with an index finger.
"To tell my age," said Logan.
"And how old are you?"
And what happens when you are seven?"
"It goes to blue... and I leave the nursery."
A similar idea is the cardioplate from Harlan Ellison's 1965 story 'Repent Harlequin' Said the Ticktockman. This idea was used in the 2011 film In Time; their usage is shown in the picture below.
Another example of a device that shows others information about you is the ER - emotional register, a small disk worn in the center of the forehead that shows the emotional state of the person wearing it. The ER is from the 1961 story The Primal Urge by Brian Aldiss.
One feature only was definitely not, as yet all events, ordinary: the shining circle. Three and a half centimetres in diameter, permanently fixed in the centre of his forehead. Made of a metal resembling stainless steel, its surface was slightly convex, so that it gave a vague and distorted image of the world before it.
One possibly more functional idea is the Handwriter from John Varley's 1992 novel Steel Beach (the characters appear in the related readout skin):
Call me old-fashioned. I'm the only reporter I know who still uses his handwriter except to take notesÖI snapped the fingers of my left handÖThree rows of four colored dots appeared on the heel of my left hand. By pressing the dots in different combinations with my fingertips I was able to write the story in shorthand...
I also thought of the decorative implants from Samuel R. Delany's 1968 Nebula award-winning novel Babel 17:
"It's listed in your catalog as 5463," the Customs Officer declared. "I want it there." He clapped his left hand to his right shoulder.
The surgeon returned ... with a tray full of fragments. The only recognizable one was the front half of a miniature dragon with jeweled eyes, glittering sc ales, and opalescent wings: it was less than two inches long.
"When he's connected up to your nervous system, you'll be able to make him whistle, hiss, roar, flap his wings and spit sparks..."
Perhaps readers have other ideas?
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/19/2014)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )
Related News Stories -
Skin Chair For That 'Sitting On A Fat Guy' Feeling
'The semi-sentient artifact glided to a position behind McKie...' -Frank Herbert, 1964.
Thync Mood-Changing Wearable Device
'Very gently, hypnotically, the electronic pulses throbbed in the frontal lobes of his brain.'- Arthur C. Clarke, 1964.
Automated Treadmill Adjusts To Your Pace
'The auto-treadmill's bumps and gullies matched...'- David Brin, 1994.
XPrize's Diamandis Implants RFID Tag In Hand
'People in Manhattan have replaced their Freedom Card with a radio-frequency chip about the size of a vitamin pill.'- John Twelve Hawks, 2014.
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.
Mobility Scooters Go Offroad
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...'
RAMST - Robotically Assembled Modular Space Telescope
'The eight thin metallic legs were pointed downwards, balanced delicately...'
Terminal Snooping At Bloomberg
'The evidence began with a slowed response at her computer terminal.'
Will There Be A Digital Afterlife?
'A quick exchange of energies resulting from the relocation of discorporate states.'
ROCKY - Resistive Overload Combined With Kinetic Yo-Yo
'Joe got out the gravity-simulator harnesses..'
China Bans Self-Driving Car Testing
Innovation hits some bumps.
Robotic Lawnmower Fulfills SciFi Homeowner's Dreams
'The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself like a contented hen...'
7-Eleven Drone Delivers Chix Sandwich And Slurpee
'It was a smooth ovoid floating a few inches from the floor...'
Beta-Ti3Au Titanium-Gold Alloy Hardest Tissue-Compatible Metal
It needs a more science-fictional name!
Solar Plane Circles The Globe
'Tropism-like pursuit of the sun across the sky as they recharged their batteries...'
Audiobooks - Fastest Growing Format In Publishing
'The public preferred lectons...'
SuperMeat - Crowdfunding Pohl/Kornbluth's Chicken Little
'Chicken Little, who would be sliced and packed to feed people from Baffinland to Little America.'
Martian-Grown Food Might Be Fine
'I donít want to come off as arrogant here, but Iím the best botanist on the planet.'
MARLO Robot Attempts Wave Field
'It is apparent that he will walk before his human brother.'
3RDiTEK Lifeblogging Headband Camera
'It's logging anyway - everything you see on duty goes into the black box.'
3D-Printed Biohybrid Is A Tissue-Engineered Robot
'The directing neurological tissue that forms the basis of the swibble is alive...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories