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

"I prefer working by artificial light."
- Isaac Asimov

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.

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
  - Camouflage To Confound Face Recognition
  - RealFace Glamoflage T-Shirt Like PKD's Scramble Suit

Articles related to Clothing
Motorcycle Racing Suit With Airbags
Protocell Running Shoes Regenerate
Owlet Vitals, The Future Of Baby Monitoring
A Forced Air-Cooled Jacket?

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

Amazing Video Shows Chameleon-Like Crystal Display
'Across the vast impersonal face of metal... a ribbon of fluid letters appeared...'

Will Autonomous Systems' Self-Preservation Lead To Dangerous Behavior?
'This, the new types. The new varieties of claws. We're completely at their mercy, aren't we?'

Ooho Water Bulb (Or Blob) Replaces Horrific Plastic Bottles
'I held up my bulb of water ... visibly there was water missing.'

SRI International's Speedy, Ant-Sized Microrobot Swarm
'As if swarms of tiny animals were busily scurrying about...'

SF Authors Have Wearable Computing Ideas
The device would need to convey essential information.

Bookies Let You Place Your Bets On the Future!
Put your money where your mouth is, sf fans!

How Do Americans See The Future Of Technology?
Do you want to participate in the future?

Updated: Flying Graffiti Drone Will Alter The Urban Landscape
The tagger's dream - lie in bed while painting at a remote location.

Should Autonomous Cars Have Feelings About Crashes?
'Robots have worse problems than anybody.'

M-Block Modular Robots Assemble Themselves
'... as though a child should build from nursery blocks a fantastic shape which abruptly is filled with throbbing life.'

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.