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

"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Talking Tape  
  Adhesive-backed network connection, global positioning, voice synthesis and speakers.  

I love this idea. Just take a small strip of this, and put it on a piece of prepared building material. Thanks to elaborate software and network connections, this object now "knows" what it is, and where it goes in the larger scheme of things.

Oscar peeled a strip of tape from a yellow spool and wrapped the tape around a cinder block. He swept a hand-scanner over the block, activating the tape...

"I'm a cornerstone," the cinder block announced.

"Good for you," Oscar grunted.

"I'm a cornerstone. Carry me five steps to your left." The construction system was smart enough to manage a limited and specific vocabulary. Unfortunately, the system simply didn't hear very well. The tiny microphones embedded in the talking tape were much less effective than the tape's thumbnail-sized speakers. Still, it was hard not to reply to a concrete block when it spoke up with such grace and authority. The concrete blocks all sounded like Franklin Roosevelt.

From Distraction, by Bruce Sterling.
Published by Bantam Spectra in 1998
Additional resources -

It doesn't seem completely impossible to believe that you could combine a speaker, microphone, and a wireless connection in a relatively small, cheap form. The real problem is how to determine position.

Since you would need very high confidence in the location, and since GPS is only accurate to about 10 meters in latitude and longitude and only about 20 meters in altitude, you would need something administered by the local network. Sterling couldn't have made a better choice on the voice for the talking tape. My grandfather hated Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Not just because of his policies. My grandfather hated Roosevelt because once he started talking on the radio, he was so convincing (and authoritative) that you started to agree with him no matter what you thought.

Take a look at the Arcology Now Construction Set which uses scannable bar coded instructions on building materials.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 3 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Distraction
  More Ideas and Technology by Bruce Sterling
  Tech news articles related to Distraction
  Tech news articles related to works by Bruce Sterling

Talking Tape-related news articles:
  - The Smart Construction Site Of The Future
  - Flexible Fabric Speakers Are Coming
  - Carbon Nanotube Speakers Are Flexible, Transparent
  - Flexible, Transparent Speakers From Graphene

Articles related to Communication
High Fidelity Produces More Expressive Avatars!
Nexus 6 Phone Vs. Nexus-6 Android Comparison
India's Commuters Face Philip K Dick's 'Sales Pitch' Future
Secret Service Wants Sarcasm-Detection Software

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

Physicists Build Repulsor / Tractor Beam
'Brandon swung mighty tractor beams upon the severed halves of the Jovian vessel...'

High Fidelity Produces More Expressive Avatars!
'They are the audiovisual bodies that people use to communicate with each other...'

Will You Upload Your Mind Anytime Soon?
And if so, how long will the copy last?

Students! NASA Wants To 3D Print Your Tool Design In Space!
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'

Amazing ARES Augmented Reality Sandbox
'First he showed him where the input and output of his brand-new kingdom were, and how to program wars...'

'3D Light Sculpture' Projected Directly Onto Retina
'...projects directly on the retina of the eye…'

3D Printer Vending Machine Dispenses Dreams
'Nanofax AG offers a technology that digitally reproduces objects, physically, at a distance.'

Why Not Nurse Grandma With A Robot?
'She's made of a combination of springs, levers, acoustic instruments...'

Flock Of Minisats Will Image The Earth
'We... dropped roughly a thousand eyes on Beta Hydri IV.'

Robert Heinlein, Your Self-Driving Car Is Almost Ready!
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

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.