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

"Money to me is freedom, and freedom is essential. Money allows me to say that I will now devote my life to being me, rather than putting on my shoes and tie, and going to an office every day."
- Robert Silverberg

Paracompass  
  A very specialized compass that makes use of local magnetic anomalies.  

Early navigation relied on several natural phenomena; the fixed pole star (or stars, when the pyramids were built) and the north magnetic pole. What can you do if a planet has no stable magnetic field, or if the planet's surface is prone to storms that disrupt the field?

The glowing tab of the Fremkit manual between them on the tent floor caught her eye. She lifted it, glanced at the flyleaf, reading: "Manual of 'The Friendly Desert,' the place full of life. Here are the ayat and burhan of Life. Believe, and al-Lat shall never burn you..."

Paul lifted the paracompass from the pack, returned it, said: "Think of all these special-application Fremen machines. They show unrivaled sophistication. Admit it. The culture that made these things betrays depths no one suspected."

From Dune, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Putnam in 1965
Additional resources -

People have made practical use of the Earth's magnetic field since ancient times, but it wasn't until 1600 that William Gilberte, personal physician to Queen Elizabeth, published his astounding De Magnete. In it, he revealed his studies with a "terrella" (a magnetized sphere); he hypothesized that the Earth was itself an immense magnet.

If you're into magnetic fields (and, in fact, we all are - just use a compass!), take a look at the very cool Earth's Magnetic Field Images, an interactive page that allows you to see field strengths at different years in the 20th century. (Courtesy of our friends at NOAA - the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.) (Special thanks to a reader who pointed me to a new URL for the old one!)

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dune
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to Dune
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

Articles related to Travel
Google's Cartographer Backpack For Indoor Mapping
Live Luggage Ready To Roll
Porter 'Robots' For Baggage, If Not People
Tweel - (Almost) A Smart Wheel

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

Superstrong Multilayer Metal-Graphene Composite Material
Negligible increase in weight increased material strength by hundreds of times.

Deepfakes Imperil Democracy (George Orwell, Right Again)
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.

Still Wondering If You'd Work For A Robot Boss?
'This is all coming to you courtesy of the simstim unit wired into your deck, of course.'

World's First Autonomous Tram In Germany
What's it like for autonomous trams when they're turned off at night?

Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.'

Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
It's always a good time for a nap.

Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.'

How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.'

PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...'

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.