Latest By

Artificial Intelligence
Data Storage
Input Devices
Living Space
Space Tech
Virtual Person

"I feel like I've been very fortunate in that I've stuck like a burr to the dog-leg of the next generation of nerdism. I've been carried into the XXIth century on Bill Gates' pants-cuff."
- William Gibson

Navicloud Custom Debinder  
  A machine that pulls books apart and scans the contents.  

This is one of my favorites from this excellent book. Here's the problem (and it may sound familiar): how can you scan the entire contents of a library?

In this excerpt, Robert walks into a university library, expecting to see the usual stacks.

Tiny flecks of white floated and swirled in the column of light. Snowflakes? But one landed on his hand: a fleck of paper.

And now the ripping buzz of the saw was still louder, and there was also the sound of a giant vacuum cleaner...

Brrrap! A tree shredder!

Ahead of him, everything was empty bookcases, skeletons. Robert went to the end of the aisle and walked toward the noise. The air was a fog of floating paper dust. In the fourth aisle, the space between the bookcases was filled with a pulsing fabric tube. The monster worm was brightly lit from within. At the other end, almost twenty feet away, was the worm's maw - the source of the noise... The raging maw was a "Navicloud custom debinder." The fabric tunnel that stretched out behind it was a "camera tunnel..." The shredded fragments of books and magazines flew down the tunnel like leaves in a tornado, twisting and tumbling. The inside of the fabric was stiched with thousands of tiny cameras. The shreds were being photographed again and again, from every angle and orientation, till finally the torn leaves dropped into a bin just in front of Robert.

From Rainbows End, by Vernor Vinge.
Published by Tor in 2006
Additional resources -

Once the entire book was photographed, sophisticated optical character recognition programs went to work, picking out the characters and words on each page. Finally, the machine's AI reconstructed each book and reconstituted every chapter.

Another book "saved" for the 'net.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Rainbows End
  More Ideas and Technology by Vernor Vinge
  Tech news articles related to Rainbows End
  Tech news articles related to works by Vernor Vinge

Navicloud Custom Debinder-related news articles:
  - Anti-Shredder Computer Versus Stasi Secret Police
  - Book-Scanning ScanRobot Neater Than Navicloud Custom Debinder
  - Scanner Could Let You 'Rip' Books

Articles related to Culture
3RDiTEK Lifeblogging Headband Camera
Robot Lawyers And Robot Judges Now Everywhere
Roam-e Flying Selfie Drone Cam
DoNotPay Lawyer Program Contests Parking Tickets

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.





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.





More News

GyroGlove Idea For Parkinson's Was Suggested In 1926
'The gyroscope was revolving at the rate of three thousand revolutions a minute, and the slight humming was hardly noticeable...'

Otto Self-Driving Truck Kit Delivers Budweiser Beer
'Trucks gulped packages and scurried like beetles...'

Airnest Drone Flight Logging Tool
'He reached to unsnap the cartograph from his belt.'

Untethered Drone Gets Wireless Power
'We'll use my 'broomstick'.'

ESA Plans Akon Projectile To Europa ala Jules Verne
'... might [it] not be possible to project a shot up to the moon?'

Transparent OLED TV By Panasonic
It's the look of things to come.

Shape-Memory Metal Transforms Millions Of Times
'Annealed in any shape for a time, and codified, the structure of that shape is retained down to the molecules.'

Advertising Drones Hover Over Traffic In Mexico
'Blurbflies are allowd to travel the streets, buzzing their adverts alive and direct...'

How Can Amazon Patent A Voice-Controlled Drone?
''Tight mid-shot...' he told it.'

'North Sense' Wearable Piercing From Cyborg Nest
'The fingers opened from the many-scaled stellarimeter grafted onto his palm.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.