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

"[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

Scramble Suit  
  A superthin membrane upon which are projected the characteristics of a million different people, it confers instant anonymity.  

In the novel, narcotics officers wear these suits to disguise their appearance.

"Now you will notice," the Lions Club host said, "that you can barely see this individual... because he is wearing what is called a scramble suit...

"Let's hear it for the vague blur!" the host said loudly...

The scramble suit was an invention of the Bell laboratories, conjured up by accident by an employee named S. A. Powers... Basically, his design consisted of a multifaceted quartz lens hooked up to a million and a half physiognomic fraction-representations of various people: men and women, children, with every variant encoded and then projected outward in all directions equally onto a superthin shroudlike membrane large enough to fit around an average human.

As the computer looped through its banks, it projected every conceivable eye color, hair color, shape and type of nose, formation of teeth, configuration of facial bone structure - the entire shroudlike membrane took on whatever physical characteristics were projected at any nanosecond, then switched to the next...

In any case, the wearer of a scramble suit was Everyman and in every combination (up to combinations of a million and a half sub-bits) during the course of each hour. Hence, any description of him - or her - was meaningless.

From A Scanner Darkly, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Not Known in 1977
Additional resources -

As it turns out, they have artificial voices as well, leaving "in our minds no characteristics."

Here's an explanation of how this "technology" of Dick's was shown in the movie version of the book:


(Explanatory Scramble suit video from the movie version)

Compare the scramble suit with the mimetic polycarbon suit worn by Panther Modern leader Lupus Yonderboy in William Gibson's Neuromancer and the Jodie grid from The Diamond Age (1995) by Neal Stephenson.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Scanner Darkly
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to A Scanner Darkly
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

Scramble Suit-related news articles:
  - PKD's Scramble Suit In A Scanner Darkly Movie Trailer
  - Let's Hear It For The Vague Blur!
  - Face Recognition Now Sees Through Disguises
  - HyperFace Aims To Foil Facial Recognition
  - Camouflage To Confound Face Recognition
  - RealFace Glamoflage T-Shirt Like PKD's Scramble Suit
  - CV Dazzle Anti-Surveillance Make-Up
  - Project KOVR Fashion Protection From Infosphere
  - Deep Learning Creates New Faces
  - Adversarial Pattern Shirts Confound Object Detection Systems

Articles related to Clothing
iSphere Plastique Fantastique Face Mask Alternative
Inkjet-Printed Wearable Solar Cells
E - Ink's Automatic Self Styling Color-Changing Dress
Clothes That Do Photosynthesis

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

Las Vegas Tunnels To Have Autonomous Teslas
'...just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.'

TCL CSOT 17-Inch Printed OLED Scrolling Display
'..a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling colour.'

Reachy Humanoid VR Teleoperation App
"I went to the control room where the three other men were manipulating their mechanical men...'

Unitree A1 Robot ala Black Mirror and Snow Crash
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power...'

DALL-E Makes Creative Images From Text
Okay, sf fans. If you could have some art created from a science fiction sentence, what sentence would you pick?

BladeBUG Robots Clean Massive Wind Turbine Blades
'There were the cleaners, with large padded feet, who were apparently polishing their way the whole length...'

Looms To Manually Weave Lunar Rover Wheels
It's fascinating to me how the Apollo program forced people to think outside their usual boxes.

IceBot Antarctic (Planetary?) Robotic Explorers Made Of Ice
'Some will combine in place to form more complicated structures, like excavators or centipedes.'

Glad 2020 Is Over
Maybe you missed one of these?

PEDOT Polymer Could Enhance Brain-Machine Interfaces
'the hair-fine wire going deep into Owen's brain, down into the pleasure center.'

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.