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

"To get anywhere, or even live a long time, a man has to guess, and guess right, over and over again, without enough data for a logical answer."
- Robert Heinlein

Joymaker  
  A networked personal digital assistant - that really is an assistant.  

This is a remarkable (and early) description of a wirelessly networked personal digital assistant. The device is only part of the story; the networked computers that ran these devices had a high degree of artificial intelligence.

The principle of it was clear enough. It was a remote input-output station for a shared-time computer program, with certain attachments that functioned as pocket flask, first-aid kit, cosmetics bag, and so on. It looked something like a mace or a jester's scepter.

The remote-access computer transponder called the "joymaker" is your most valuable single possession in your new life. If you can imagine a combination of telephone, credit card, alarm clock, pocket bar, reference library, and full-time secretary, you will have sketched some of the functions provided by your joymaker.

Essentially, it is a transponder connecting you with the central computing facilities of the city in which you reside on a shared-time, self-programming basis. "Shared-time" means that many other joymakers use the same central computer - in Shoggo, something like ten million of them. If you go to another city your joymaker will continue to serve you, but it must be reset to a new frequency and pulse-code. This will be done automatically when you travel by public transportation. However, if you use private means, or if for any reason you spend any time in the agricultural areas, you must notify the joymaker of your intentions. It will inform you of any steps you must take.

"Self-programming" means that the programmed software includes procedures for translating most normal variations of voice, idiom, accent, and other variable modalities into a computer-oriented sim-script and thence into the mathematical expressions on which the computers operate. As long as your personal joymaker is within reception range of your voice, you may communicate via other shared-time transponders if you wish. Appropriate modulation will be established automatically. However, do not attempt to use another individual's joymaker when yours is not within range. Proper conditioning cannot be assured. In the event that your joymaker is lost or damaged ...

From The Age of The Pussyfoot, by Frederik Pohl.
Published by Ballantine in 1966
Additional resources -

This quote comes from an "owner's manual" that is presented to the novel's protagonist.

Note that it works solely with a voice-activated interface.

Joymakers had a variety of amazing functions, most of which are unique predictions by Pohl; see these links for details and quotes for the different joymaker functions:

In his "afterword" for the book, Pohl himself provides a likely timeframe for this piece of technovelgy:

"I do not really think it will be that long. Not five centuries. Perhaps not even five decades."
Looks like we're right on time.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Age of The Pussyfoot
  More Ideas and Technology by Frederik Pohl
  Tech news articles related to The Age of The Pussyfoot
  Tech news articles related to works by Frederik Pohl

Joymaker-related news articles:
  - Cellular Phone Robot And iPhone - Joymaker Wannabes
  - GOOG-411 Google's Free Talking Phone Search
  - Wellness Mobile Phone Personal Trainer In A Cellphone
  - DoCoMo S0703i Smellular Phone Makes Scents
  - Ribbit Amphibian Cellphone Internet Mashup
  - iPhones For Freshmen At ACU
  - What Apple Could Learn From SF: iPhone As Mediator
  - SIRI Virtual Assistant Like Pohl's Joymaker
  - How Smart Is Siri?
  - Cortana, Your Personal Assistant
  - Google Home Continues Implementation Of Pohl's Joymaker

Articles related to Engineering
Seabreacher, H.G. Winter's 1939 Torpoon
Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
Implosion Fabrication Shrinks 3D Objects To Nanoscale
ODYSSEUS Solar-Powered Stratospheric Plane Flies Forever

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

Skin Electronics Can Show Electrocardiogram
'... the young men in the streets who applied polyimde OLED body film to their bared shoulders.'

Chinese Fern Helps Remediate Arsenic Soil
'Bioengeering had put out a spec report on the long crawly things five months back.'

Skai Air Taxi Costs The Same As Uber
'The air-taxi found its way past and around other ground-cars...'

Neurodevices For Consumers? Neuroethicists (And Philip K Dick) Say 'Caveat Emptor'
'They tried to use it today and it wouldn't work. No colors and no ceph patterns, neither one...'

The Future Of Elon Musk's Neuralink
'Cerebral Electromagnetic Emmission Amplification and Relay System call it artificial telepathy, if you like.'

Researchers Make You Say Anything in Videos
'[It] caused his televised image... to mouth the vowels and consonants beautifully.'

Jeff Bezos Tries Waldoes (Robotic Hands)
'Waldo put his arms into the primary pair before him...'

Asimov and Musk - Boring Company Tunnel vs. Street Race
'There was almost no sound, just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.'

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.