Monday 14 May 2012

Chips for the Eyeballs

As in microchips.  But before I get on to that...

I've lost.  Again.  But at least this time it was only a loss by one post, not by 8 or 9 or something ridiculous.  Congratulations, Tim - and happy birthday for tomorrow!

Anyway, I'd decided to save the most interesting one for last - Question 6: If you could add one piece of tech to your body, what would it be?

So many choices!  Rocket boosters in the heels?  Super-strength grip equipment threaded through the arms?  Coffee dispenser attached to the side of the head?

No.  The details are a bit hazy at this point (I'm hoping to clarify them for myself as I write my way through this post), but I'm pretty clear on the general area of interest: optics.  It'd have to be something to do with visual perception.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who's ever looked at a scene and wished there was an easy way of retaining the current retinal image for subsequent review and dissemination, without needing to pull out, calibrate and activate an external camera.  In short, some way of hitting 'save' on whatever you're seeing at a given moment.  A device attached to the optic nerve to read and transmit its signals, with a remote gadget which can 1) activate the save function, and 2) serve as storage for the image(s) - preferably with advanced biometrics built into the controls, to stop anybody else being able to hack it and use it to snoop on my retina.  That's one of the most appealing options.

A variant on the theme, however, would be a device which did much the same thing (generated a computer-readable image out of my nervous system), but working in reverse, i.e. extracting images coming out of my brain instead of ones heading into it.  I suppose I could summarise what I'm thinking of as a GIMP / Photoshop variant built into, or at least controlled by, the visual part of my imagination, again with an external USB-compatible storage device.  Something that would enable me to author whatever image I want just by thinking about it.

Another variant which occurred to me would be to have the brain-controlled thingy, but attached to a live projected output as well as / instead of the storage device.  But then again, I'm not sure if that'd be much of an advantage relative to having the storage version and then plugging the storage unit into a computer with a projector attached to it.

Perhaps I could compromise and have a device which allows you to record from your optic nerve and/or use thought control to generate images, with a remote USB gadget which can either store the images for later, or feed them directly into your computer with its specially-adapted version of the GIMP.  Is that too much power to fit within the remit of "one piece of tech"?  If not, then that's my answer.  If it's too much, then I think I'd settle for the one that lets you record from the optic nerve.

So there you go.

You all thought I'd go for the cigarette lighter built into my thumb, didn't you?  Well, gotcha.

The final stats:
  • Last 10 for 17 status: 10 down, nil to go.  Second place.
  • Latest book read: still The Kink and I
  • Latest film/TV watched: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Latest music listened to: I can't remember
  • Latest edible item eaten: cream cake
  • Programs and web pages currently running: Microsoft Office Outlook, Firefox (tabs: Tim's games post from last week; Blogger Dashboard; Blogspot Create Post)
  • Webcomics posted today: Cylinder and Miserable Episode 1479

- The Colclough


  1. I don't know what technology I would like attached to me.

    Do you get my e-mail?

  2. It's funny, but that's pretty much exactly what I'd go for as well. Great minds and all that...