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"One can see the free software movement as a precusor for a "free hardware" or "free wetware" movement--one that will provide free libraries of designs for biological or nanotechnological products that replicators can be programmed to churn out."
- Charles Stross

Psychophone  
  A device that allows the user to tune their mind to a future reality - a time-traveling device.  

In the story, the author argues that while the body is stuck in the present, the mind is able to move more freely. But you need a very specific gadget to do it.

It looked just like one of those old-fashioned crystal sets, except that the crystal was very big, very shiny and was set in a horizontal vacuum tube. There was the same single dial, the same cat's whisker. Attached to the lot by a length of flex was what might have been a pair of headphones, except in place of the phones were a pair of polished, smoothly rounded copper circles shaped to fit outside the ears and close against the skull.
From The Mechanical Mice, by Maurice A.  Hugi.
Published by Astounding Stories in 1941
Additional resources -

Here's how it works:

When you imagine what the future will be like, you make a characteristic choice of all the logical possibilities, you pick your favorite from a multitude of likely futures. The psychophone somehow tunes you into a future reality. It makes you depict within your mind the future as it will be shaped in actuality, eliminating all of the alternatives that will not occur.

This is a very early use of the "alternative futures" idea in science fiction.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Mechanical Mice
  More Ideas and Technology by Maurice A.  Hugi
  Tech news articles related to The Mechanical Mice
  Tech news articles related to works by Maurice A.  Hugi

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