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

"SF is a controlled way to think and dream about the future."
- Gregory Benford

Electronic Spy  
  An autonomous device that kept itself hidden while keeping track of an individual's activity.  

This is an early reference to this kind of device, and is particularly detailed.

As if the whisper of the chair sliding on the carpeting might have been a signal, a scurrying sound came out of one darkened corner and traveled to the next and then was still...

There was something in the corner by the yellow chair and although it seemed to have no eyes, he knew it was watching him. It didn't know that he had spotted it, or it didn't seem to know, although in the next instant it more than likely would.

His right arm swung up and over and followed through and the paperweight, turning end over end, crashed into the corner.

There was a crunching sound and the noise of metallic parts rolling on the floor.

There were many little tubes, smashed, and an intricate mass of wiring that was bent and broken, and crystal disks that were chipped and splintered, and the metallic outer shell that had held the tubes and wiring and the disks and the many other pieces of mechanical mystery that he did not recognize...

No mouse, but something else - something that scuttled in the night, knowing that he would think it was a mouse... a thing that had scared the cat which knew it was no mouse, and a thing that would not be attracted to traps.

An electronic spy, he speculated, a scuttling, scurrying, listening device that watched his every moment, that stored what it heard and saw for future reference or transmitted directly the knowledge that it gained. But direct to whom? If it were a spying device, it would be made so well, so cleverly that it would be able not only to observe him but to keep out of sight itself. To have any value, it must keep its presence undetected. There would be no careless moment.

From Ring Around the Sun, by Clifford Simak.
Published by Galaxy Science Fiction in 1952
Additional resources -

Compare to the robot tracking device from Philip K. Dick's 1960 novel Vulcan's Hammer, the scarab robot flying insect from Raymond Z. Gallun's 1936 story The Scarab and the mechanical mice from Eric Frank Russel's chilling 1941 short story The Mechanical Mice.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Ring Around the Sun
  More Ideas and Technology by Clifford Simak
  Tech news articles related to Ring Around the Sun
  Tech news articles related to works by Clifford Simak

Articles related to Surveillance
FLIR Black Hornet 3 Palm-sized Drone
Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
UK Police AI To Stop Criminals Before They Strike
Chinese Face Recognition Mistakes Bus Ad For Jaywalker

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

'Metallic Wood' Strong Like Titanium, Floats In Water
'A metal... light as cork and stronger than steel...'

Seabreacher, H.G. Winter's 1939 Torpoon
'Ken lay full-length in the padded body compartment, his feet resting on the controlling bars of the directional planes, hands on the torpoon's engine levers.'

Abundant Robotics Autonomous Apple Harvester Robot
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant... cutting off the ripe fruit.'

Charging An Electric Car In 2019 (Video), 1912 (Photo) And 1894 (Fiction)
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

Japan Uses Explosives On Asteroid
'...a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk. It hit, exploding into a cloud of incandescent vapour.'

Get Your Speeder Flying Motorcycle From Jetpack Aviation
'The flycycles were miracles of compact design.'

FLIR Black Hornet 3 Palm-sized Drone
These drones can provide situational awareness beyond visual line-of-sight capability.

Dockworkers Protest Driverless Trucks
'It resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'

Flying Car Concept By Kash Sirinanda
'Each one consists of a hub with many tiny spokes... On the end is a squat foot, rubber tread on the bottom...'

Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.'

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.