Latest By

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

"[Science fiction] is the only kind of writing that allows you to look at the world we live in and change one piece at a time."
- Frederik Pohl

Stereo Tank  
  A receiver for three-dimensional televised images.  

The familiar use of the term to an authority figure helps to establish it in the mind of the reader. In the era before the hologram, this was the way that people visualized a three-dimension imaging system. You had to be able to walk around it to see all the details.

"If we don't show the Man from Mars in the stereo tanks pretty shortly, you'll have riots on your hands, Mr. Secretary."
From Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Putnam in 1961
Additional resources -

If this was really three-dimensional, would you be able to walk behind a newscaster and see the back of his head? On the other hand, maybe it was really "stereo" vision, that is, an experience designed to be experienced from one direction - like a concert broadcast in stereo, with the illusion of depth and direction of sound.

Curmudgeon and contrarian Jubal Harshaw also refers to it as a "babble box", which is probably an inside joke for sf fans, who recall the babble machine from H.G. Wells' 1899 novel When the Sleeper Wakes. (Thanks to R. Philip Reynolds for that observation in a comment on another item.)

You might also want to see the entry for stereovision, from the same novel.

Heinlein probably derived the idea for this from the 3D tank from EE 'Doc' Smith's 1934 story Triplanetary.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Stranger in a Strange Land
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Stranger in a Strange Land
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Stereo Tank-related news articles:
  - Lifeblood And Beta Tank Bubble-Based 'Stereo Tanks'
  - gCubik 3D Handheld Display
  - Holographic 3D Television - And No Glasses
  - 3D Television Display In Real Time
  - Sony 360 3D 'Stereo Tank' Video
  - Head-Coupled Perspective For iPad 2

Articles related to Communication
HushMe Bluetooth Device Reinvents The Hush-A-Phone
Ubiquiti FrontRow Camera Records Your Life
SmileCloud Bubloons Are Custom Clouds
Fog Computing (AKA Edge Computing) Ad Hoc Networks

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

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

TMS Decreases Belief In God, Increases Belief In Immigrants
'... setting up the same currents, the same basic ideas, in them all.'

Loomo Mini Transporter Robot Companion You Ride On
'Slowly the [robot] horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.'

Soft Robotics - Now With 3D Printed Sensors!
'A series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary to snap a bone...'

AI Tool Lynx Insight And The Cybernetic Newsroom
'The structure,... was once a great homeostatic newspaper, the New York Times. It printed itself directly below us...'

Espresso Telescope Searches For Exoplanets
'These instruments were the wonderful ones our astronomers had perfected.'

Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme.

Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
'The glittering little rocket bolted to the black iron behind him.'

Astronaut Gets Younger In Space
'So what we're looking for now is not an antibiotic - an anti-life drug - but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug...'

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.'

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.