Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"When you're making a revolution in cyberspace, things look rather different from the way the 1980s cyberpunks wrote it."
- Charles Stross

Disperser  
  Device that gives an electric shock to anyone who touches a vehicle.  

In the teeming metropolis of Sagramanda, it is important for vehicles to maintain their space.

Occasionally, a pedestrian attempting to pass part of the flow would step off into the street. This happened less often than might be expected since most vehicles, both public and private, were equipped with dispersers. Via conduits embedded in the carbon-metal car frames, an electric charge flowed from the vehicle's motor through the vehicle's exterior. Anyone coming in contact with this would receive a low-voltage jolt that was strong enough to make them want to avoid such contact, much less lean on a vehicle so equipped.

City vehicles were allowed to generate much more powerful charges. Unlike private cars and taxis whose repelling nuisance voltage was limited by law, those of fire engines and police cars responding to emergency calls could be cranked up to truly uncomfortable levels. Nobody in their right mind would attempt to get in the way of or hitch a ride on an ambulance with siren wailing. Touch a bumper or a door and the current flowing through it could knock a man off his feet and leave him quivering helplessly on the street for a minute or more.

From Sagramanda, by Alan Dean Foster.
Published by Pyr in 2006
Additional resources -

This idea has a venerable history in science fiction. See the entry for Electrify the Hull from Jules Verne's classic 1875 novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Sagramanda
  More Ideas and Technology by Alan Dean Foster
  Tech news articles related to Sagramanda
  Tech news articles related to works by Alan Dean Foster

Articles related to Engineering
Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
Skin Electronics 3D Printed
Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views

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.

<Previous
Next>

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.

 

 

 

 

More News

Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.'

Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
It's always a good time for a nap.

Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.'

How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.'

PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...'

Foldimate Folds Your Clothes Perfectly
Look ma, my room is clean! I can hear you now.

Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.

International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger
'These tag-alongs search out stray leaks.'

Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but still amazing.

IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.