1. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    Explaining the unexplainable

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by doggiedude, Apr 21, 2016.

    So, in my WIP everyone has what is essentially an iPhone embedded into their brains. When you call someone their image shows up on your retinas.
    So... where's the camera image coming from?
    I have no idea & I can easily just ignore explaining it. However, if any of you can come up with a rational explanation maybe I'll use it.
    The best I could think of was something along the lines of "Optical Reflective technology."
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Why have it on their retinas? If they have the tech to embed the device in the their brains, why not just transmit the information directly to the optic nerve? On the other end, maybe it's picking up images from a retina, though if you wanted to see someone I guess they'd have to be in front of a mirror that way.
     
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  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Why not have the wet-ware phone tap directly into the visual centers of the brain?

    ETA: @Steerpike ninjad me! :-D
     
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  4. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    Yeah... hence the reflective technology. It's one of those things that seems like a cool idea on the surface but digging deeper you can find some big holes.
    Sort of like how on Star Trek sometimes they talk to the computer or to other people through their communicators just by speaking and other times they need to physically push the communicator on their shirts first.
     
  5. newjerseyrunner
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    newjerseyrunner Contributing Member

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    Talking to the optic nerve or the occipital lobe would both work better for your story since you already have embedded hardware. It's also better from a security standpoint since it won't actually display anything, an outside observer would have no idea that you're getting a phone call. Any sort of projection would have the potential for eves-dropping.
     
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  6. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    I think I found an answer for the question of - Where's the damned camera?

    There isn't one. The AI saves an image of the person. The system has connections to the person's facial muscles so it knows how the head & face is moving. The AI combines the saved image to the movements to create a simulated image of the person talking.

    Does this make sense?
     
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  7. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    It seems plausible. I assume this is a hardcore sci-fi novel? If you are trying to write a story that is more generally accessible, you might consider leaving out the details, unless they are critical to the plot of your story.
     
  8. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    Definitely not hard Sci-fi. But if there's a way to make some things more plausible I don't see any reason to leave it out. There's a scene where one of these devices is being installed into a child. The explanation could fit easily into the scene.
     
  9. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    I think I get where you are going with this. Though I have to say the title of the thread, was a little intriguing. So if you have a device directly implanted in the optic nerve of the ocipital (not sure of the spelling :p) region of the brain, you could use the eye to in theory do what you want to do with it as far as calls are concerned. Also you can't take a selfie, unless you can pop your eye out that far. :superlaugh:

    Eyeball.gif
     
  10. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    The device isn't actually doing anything to the person's eye. It's an implanted communication device that displays the receiving image to the person's view. (it could be directly to the brain or optic nerve or to the retina.)

    Imagine experiencing Skype with embedded equipment
     
  11. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    As long as it doesn't break a smooth narrative flow or rob the story of its momentum, I am sure it will be fine. Most readers will probably be prepared to accept an implanted neural device such as the one you described with little to no explanation on exactly how it works. Simply introducing the idea that in the future, people have such technology would be enough for me.
     
  12. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Unless one of your characters is someone who understands the technology (a brain-phone installation technician, for instance) does it really matter?

    In stories where characters drive cars, authors don't bother explaining the workings of the internal combustion engine unless it's relevant to the plot. Same with iPhones, computers (and Lord knows how far off the technical details are most of the time with these) and even elevators (how many movies show a character crawling through the ceiling hatch of an elevator and there's no such thing :)).
     
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  13. Inks
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    Used to this type of thing from Masamune's work, the person's face or even video in live calls are shown as sort of like a floating hologram, but is really just stimulation on the brain. It only seems like it is a projection and only if the user desires a visual manifestation.

    Furthermore, the technology also allows for subvocalization to be used to speak to the person in a clandestine manner while the physical body is capable of acting independently... This is seen time and time again as the physical body is shown to be disconnected from the mental consciousness of the characters, but still it is socially unacceptable to be handling bodily duties (i.e. using the bathroom) while conversing in this manner. Women also have interference from periods and such - though it was played as a joke, yet still serves to cermet the reality of the world and technology in such a way. It got censored in the English language release - as always...
     
  14. Martin515
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    Martin515 Member

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    So, the viewer can see the image as it is sent to their retina (or better yet, optic nerve) but where's the camera the other end? As for the theory about the caller's face being created by the software, I don't really see the point of this - the whole point of seeing someone whilst talking to them is to actually see THEM, not some digital fake.

    I imagine people in your world would mostly make do with the audio only, that way they can carry on what they're doing without an interfering visual.

    But sometimes they will want to "face-time", particularly a loved one I would guess. In this instance a fake visual just won't do (there's a reason you want to see them,) so you need a camera. I suggest this is also implanted, but somewhere that you can direct towards yourself. Most natural place to me seems under the thumb-nail. hold your hand out in front of you when you want to have a face-to-face call and talk to the thumb.

    This also evolves the cultural significance of a "thumb's up"... selfie time!
     

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