Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cyberpunk: Times Square Marquee

Technology firm, NEC, unveiled their Tele Scouter smart goggles in Japan recently. The Tele Scouter smart goggles were developed to provide suits with clients' information during a meeting. The data is sent to the Tele Scouter, which projects LED text and images on the wearer's retina. In the original Cyberpunk RPG from R. Talsorian (Cyberpunk 2013, © Mike Pondsmith, 1988), a cybernetic device called the Times Square Marquee did the very same thing (View from the Edge, p. 21; Cyberpunk 2020 v. 2.01, p. 86). The Tele Scouter is not a cyberoptic device; it is a headset which one expert said has "a bit of the sense of the borg from Star Trek."

The Tele Scouter is sold in bundles of 30, which cost just over $100,000 and will be available in 2010. In 2011, a translator option will be made available. The device records a person's speech, pipes it through translation software, then through speech-to-text software, and the translation is sent to the Tele Scouter; the Tele Scouter provides subtitles to the conversation, eliminating both the need for a common language and a translator! The translation software is not included in the price of the headsets.

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