SF Authors Have Wearable Computing Ideas

I've been looking at the recent ideas for the consumer technology called "wearables" - wrist-borne computing devices. I'm not that inspired. Mostly, they look like big wrist watches, and are secondary display devices for your smartphone (which you must also carry somewhere).


(Wearables - the next consumer product?)

So, I was wondering if sf authors have any useful ideas for devices that are either wearable or skin-implantable, and provide some sort of visible display outside the body.

Most of the ideas tend to combine a display with information that is of vital interest to the person and to others. For example, consider the palmflower from the 1967 novel Logan's Run by William Nolan and GC Johnson (the picture is from the 1976 movie of the same name starring Michael York):

"Show me your hand, Logan," said the psyc doctor.
Logan obeyed.
"Do you know why you have this?" he said, tapping the palmflower with an index finger.
"To tell my age," said Logan.
"And how old are you?"
"I'm six."
And what happens when you are seven?"
"It goes to blue... and I leave the nursery."

A similar idea is the cardioplate from Harlan Ellison's 1965 story 'Repent Harlequin' Said the Ticktockman. This idea was used in the 2011 film In Time; their usage is shown in the picture below.

Another example of a device that shows others information about you is the ER - emotional register, a small disk worn in the center of the forehead that shows the emotional state of the person wearing it. The ER is from the 1961 story The Primal Urge by Brian Aldiss.

One feature only was definitely not, as yet all events, ordinary: the shining circle. Three and a half centimetres in diameter, permanently fixed in the centre of his forehead. Made of a metal resembling stainless steel, its surface was slightly convex, so that it gave a vague and distorted image of the world before it.

One possibly more functional idea is the Handwriter from John Varley's 1992 novel Steel Beach (the characters appear in the related readout skin):

Call me old-fashioned. I'm the only reporter I know who still uses his handwriter except to take notes…I snapped the fingers of my left hand…Three rows of four colored dots appeared on the heel of my left hand. By pressing the dots in different combinations with my fingertips I was able to write the story in shorthand...

I also thought of the decorative implants from Samuel R. Delany's 1968 Nebula award-winning novel Babel 17:

"It's listed in your catalog as 5463," the Customs Officer declared. "I want it there." He clapped his left hand to his right shoulder.

The surgeon returned ... with a tray full of fragments. The only recognizable one was the front half of a miniature dragon with jeweled eyes, glittering sc ales, and opalescent wings: it was less than two inches long.

"When he's connected up to your nervous system, you'll be able to make him whistle, hiss, roar, flap his wings and spit sparks..."

Perhaps readers have other ideas?

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/19/2014)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Lifestyle ")

3D Printed Fashion - Plastirobes And Transdresses
'... dial a new fashion every day!' - Niven and Barnes, 1992.

ThreeForm 3D Scans And Digitally Simulates Customer Fashion
'...A miracle of misapplied engineering caused his own face to appear on the illustrated figures dressed in trooper red.' - Harry Harrison, 1965.

Safilo Brain-Sensing Eyewear
'they all relaxed and got mellow....' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.

The Sheep Look Up In Beijing
'The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed...' - John Brunner, 1972.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

PassivDom 3D Printed House - What If You Could Live Anywhere?
'The houses are prefabricated units...'

Breakthrough In Manufacture Of Red Blood Cells
This blood's for you!

Caihong Solar-Powered Drone 'Atmospheric Satellite'
'... placed in the wings of a plane to generate power from the light falling on that surface.'

NASA Wants Low Earth Orbit Wifi
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'

Is Genetic Testing At Businesses A Bad Idea?
It's not a topic that fares well in science fiction movies-

Wearable Smart Jacket
He pressed the button in his sleeve communicator and snapped: 'Action stations!'

Store One Bit On One Atom
'...each individual molecule has a meaning.'

Fluorescent Bacteria Fashion
'The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools.'

Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'

When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'

LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'

Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'

Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'

Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'

The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'

Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.