Friday, November 14, 2014


Reading up on Shadowrun and the commlink therein and now having a proper smartphone, I can't help but note just how close the two are.

The only things that the smartphone can't do that a commlink can is the VR and Sim.

Just the other day, I was able to download and print a file, directly from my phone to a never-before-used printer, with nary a trouble. It can find me directions to nearly anywhere I need to go, find me a place to buy whatever I need. With add-ons, I can play a vast number of games, including augmented reality ones. I've got a ballistic calculator on it, for all the bonuses to long range shooting. Even got a few basic things, the only digital camera I own, a flashlight, music player (presently mostly unusable due to a broken plug that needs removing, but just a question of having time to send it for repairs). I can measure my pulse, count steps, stream or watch movies/shows, read books. And of course, place calls and text chats a wide variety of ways. Heck, I can even use it to wirelessly control things like TVs with the universal remote!

We've got the prototype versions of various thought interface controllers, simple VR headsets, etc.

As I've discussed with McThag before, only interface and batteries (and public acceptance) restrict us from having implanted smartphones, and things like Google Glass are taking a modern crack at the wearable route (flawed, and pushing it in slightly the wrong way to get widespread public acceptance, but still very nearly how it'll be done when implemented properly).

Wearables like smart watches and rings give the ability to control a smartphone without the need to pull the thing out of the pocket and futz with it. Improved availability of controllers and displays like those of Glass, would put unobtrusive computing into the forefront.

It's very nearly the future, and other than a few quibbles, it's pretty sweet.

It could also be argued that we're reaching something of a dystopia with all the government and corporation spying, loss of privacy, rule trending dangerously towards nation of men rather than nation of law, etc, but that's not the focus of this post.


  1. I recognized tablets during a re-read of Mote In God's Eye recently. Fact is catching up to 40 year old fiction.

    1. Right after I penned this, I found an old bluetooth headset I thought I'd lost, so I've been enjoying my spare time while doing physical activities about the house while watching and listening to Ghost in the Shell: Arise. Using technologies at this point that are probably 5 years old (for their current, widespread and useful applications) trips the "It's the future!", because when I was growing up as many phones as not were wired, and about half of them even had the rotary dial.

      Strange times, when the present catches up with the future of yesterday and continues merrily along with nary a pause.