In Scribes’ Descent, most Imnans who refuse the neural implant opt for the holovisor instead. Think of a hologram projector glued to the forehead. That sounds futuristic, but you can buy hologram projectors today. I mean, we are in the year 2023, after all. Anyhow, holovisors do much more, boasting some pretty wild features. Saps, this is starting to sound like a commercial. The Facility better cut me in on an affiliate marketing deal. (If I come into unexplained wealth, that would be why.)
What wild features, you ask? Here’s a list I copied straight from the Facility brochure:
- Powerful telescopic zoom. Mallory uses it to spot details of a building on Imna from the rear of a retreating spacecraft.
- Video and audio recording. 📷 Not only does the camera take in full frame lighting with a tiny sensor and lens, but its stabilization and autofocus are powered by far better AI. Mallory once filmed atop a galloping barnit, and the video still looked smooth. Until she fell off, that is. If the camera wasn’t already on, accelerometers would have triggered it to auto-record and stream live footage to medics and police. Because such events sometimes destroy the onboard hard drive, those recordings are also uploaded to a remote server to preserve what might be the final moments of the wearer’s life. Imnan video servers had been flooded with such footage since the start of the quakes. Whoa, that got dark. Moving on…
- Privacy mode. Only the wearer can view the display, like a privacy screen filter for computer monitors.
- Smart phone. Includes web browsers, apps, GPS, etc. With the muon neutrino comm add-on, the phone signal can even pass undisturbed through stars and planets and the swiping paws of naughty cats! If you ever wondered why your calls randomly drop, now you know. 😹
- HUD overlays. It projects heads up displays showing descriptions of landmarks. Mallory and Leah once used this on a moving train to read memorial placards. Kids use it for virtual sidewalk chalk. EMTs use it for applying virtual triage bands on patients. Tampering with those is punishable by law, by the way.
- Even more gadgets. The latest models have extra peripherals built-in: gas detector, spectrometer, magnetometer, hyperspectral imager, electrical multimeter, microscope, radiac, and waffle iron. Well, maybe not that last one, but if I keep insisting, the Facility might cave in and add it.
Ok, so it does stuff, but is it ergonomic?
Holovisors mount to the forehead with a special glue that doesn’t come off in the shower. In fact, it takes a special solvent to remove it, which you should do before playing sports involving flying balls and flying fists or any activity that may cause you to smack yourself in the forehead. Mallory’s visor bulb broke during a game of parabola when she was young. When ball meets bulb, ball wins.
Unless you’re a soldier, firefighter, or police officer. Then you use a military model tough enough to handle most projectiles. It’s bigger, EMP hardened, and comes with special apps to find bodies within rubble, profile enemies, coordinate with squad members, etc.
But… med nanos are required. Visors rely on them for user input. Med nanos listen for valid commands from the brain, swim through the blood stream to the base of the holovisor, and relay commands to its onboard processor. But you’ll want med nanos, anyway. They keep you young, healthy, and wrinkle-free for centuries.
So, have I sold you on the holovisor? I’d fly off to Daishon to buy a batch for you, but I’m just too busy revising Scribes Aflame. Somebody’s gotta plunge Mallory into further trauma for your amusement, after all. 😄
Three years before the events of Scribes’ Descent, Mallory and Leah had built a nanobot swarm able to repair molecular circuits in-situ. They used it to fix a highly defective holovisor base and won a regional contest. The girls received a million merit points apiece, even though they’re not Radians, and the Feldencourt mayor presented each girl a plaque. They hung them in their bedrooms but switched them first: Mallory hung Leah’s on her own wall and Leah hung Mallory’s on hers.
If holovisors came to our universe from Mallory’s, which feature would you like most? Reply and let me know! Waffles…
Writing update: I’m still bending Scribes Aflame into submission. It stands at 71,000 words, and I have at least another 30,000 words to add. If you’ve read book 1 and want to beta read book 2, reply and let me know.
See you next month,