"Every scientist worth his salt that I know of has read science fiction."
Here's another handy device, one that could be implemented in real life in a variety of ways. For example, how about a theater ticket that actually helped you find your seat. It could be implemented with a system of scanners, with an embedded RFID tag in the ticket itself. Ushers - enjoy your sinecures while you can! The fact that they are lighted would be of help also.
Another example of a device that gives you valuable feedback is a battery that has a test strip built-in. I don't know how cheap the test strip has to be before it makes sense to put one on every battery, but I'll bet theater tickets are expensive enough provide the necessary margin. Maybe the ticket itself doesn't light up, but when you pass through a set of gates, a sensor in the gate tells you if you are going in the right direction.
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'
NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'
Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.
Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?
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