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Chapter 52. Future Faces > Wrist Architectures

Wrist Architectures

But wait, there's more, as they say in those late-night television ads. Today's cyberpunk fashion already sports tie tacks and earrings made from surplus chips and digital widgets, but tomorrow, we are told, we will be wearing the real thing. We will have complete computers in fashionable bracelets. (For those times when a cape might seem like over-dressing, I suppose.) And the wizards of interface design are even proposing that wrist computers use infrared or short-range radio to link automatically whenever they came in close proximity—using the proper protocol and digital signature verification to establish routing and the right recipient, of course. (I suppose the miniaturized versions would be called cuff links.) When friends met and shook hands, their computers could automatically exchange messages for them, giving new meaning to the phrase “handshaking protocol.” What progress! Technology in service to humanity, eliminating the need for unpleasant human activity, like casual conversation or the more dread intimacy of a tête-à-tête. Wouldn't you rather swap files with a friend than talk?

The vision expands. As technology improved, the links might be varied from close range to general broadcast. You would not actually have to listen to the boor who insists on telling everyone at a party the same stupid story of how he was once stuck in an elevator with John Scully. The account would just be downloaded to your wrist processor when you entered the room. Then your own clever software, programmed to recognize the same old stuff even when it was shoveled remotely, would promptly delete it. No need to listen or even to drag-and-drop that garbage anymore.


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