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

"One can see the free software movement as a precusor for a "free hardware" or "free wetware" movement--one that will provide free libraries of designs for biological or nanotechnological products that replicators can be programmed to churn out."
- Charles Stross

Free-fall Couch  
  Furniture that achieves the comfort of free-fall, the weightless condition normally achieved only in space.  

There are several purposes to sleeping or lying in null-gravity, or something like it. The most important is that, since you aren't touching anything, you are unlikely to be disturbed by outside sensations.

BB Surbringer was my AI expert. BB worked in Hegemony Flow Control Records and Statistics and spent most of his life reclining on a free-fall couch with half a dozen microleads running from his skull while he communed with other bureaucrats in datumplane.
From Hyperion, by Dan Simmons.
Published by Doubleday in 1989
Additional resources -

In the novel, the person who uses it has projected his awareness into cyberspace; he wants to reduce outside stimulation to a minimum.

In the 1950's, psychologists developed a very specialized device called a sensory deprivation or isolation tank to try to answer questions about what the brain did without stimulation. What Dr. John Lilly found was startling:

    "Somewhere, deep within the brain, was a mechanism capable of generating internal experiences completely independent of the outside world, and this settled the issue of what happens in profound physical isolation. The mind does not pass into unconsciousness, the brain does not shut down. Instead, it constructs experience out of stored impressions and memories. The isolated mind becomes highly active and creative."
I think that it is this image that the author is trying to evoke using the idea of a "free-fall" couch.

Is it really easier to sleep in free-fall? According to a study conducted on two flights in 1998, five astronauts stopped snoring almost completely. They also experienced fewer episodes of sleep apnea (temporarily cessation of breathing) and hypopnea (shallow breathing, both of which cause disturbance to sleep. See Sleep Better in Space.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 4 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Hyperion
  More Ideas and Technology by Dan Simmons
  Tech news articles related to Hyperion
  Tech news articles related to works by Dan Simmons

Articles related to Lifestyle
ROAM Robotics Skiing Exoskeleton
IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
The Hammock Caravan And Italo Calvino's Octavia
Americans! Stay Indoors To Save Energy

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

Via Virtual Reality, Mother Encounters Deceased Daughter
'But that barrier was going to melt away someday soon. The transhumanists had promised...'

Clothes That Do Photosynthesis
'Clothes are no longer made from dead fibers of fixed color and texture...'

Stratuscent Electronic Nose
'It's picking up diphenyl compounds and tetra hydrocarbons.'

CIMON Companion Robot For Space Station Astronauts
'... in some departments their power is absolute.'

Qbit Robot Bartender Also Makes Coffee
'...he sipped the cognac that the robot bartender handed him.'

Moving Desks Not SciFi After All
'Charged with hope, he zipped from stack to stack...'

Cruise Autonomous Car Drives Aimlessly For An Hour
Convincing video shows progress (and limitations).

Fast Charging A Bus In 20 Seconds
'... in almost every town and village.'

Realistic Translation With The Waverly Labs Ambassador
'The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.'

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.