CH. 62 «The Pocket-Bot»

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GOT DROID? 06-20-2310

Gork, just look at all the things that a Droid does..all the options and customization, all the features..look at what this one can do! And that brushed aluminum casing.. Oh holy gork, that’s way more astro than having a COG…blast it, and I was so convinced that’s what I needed…like, ten minutes ago.

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So after that entire righteous harangue about getting myself a 3D projecting COG (resolute as any of my tirades) it looks like I’m not going to be getting one after all. All that business about the lowest tier of advanced gadgetry being good enough for me can go right out the window. Even knowing prices of everything will soon change with the AM-4G is being released later this week; it seems I may have gone and bought myself a Droid.

Excitement, confusion, frustration and a general anxiety describe the volley of feelings usually projected at anyone who says this to their friends and family. Whether having a cybernetic companion is controversial or taboo on your planet, whether they support the technology or endorse your joining the ranks of its users, or whether they’re just jealous you can’t afford or possibly need a pocket-bot.

I’m sure anyone who isn’t as familiar with the emergence of Droids onto the market as I am is also just a bit shocked, so let me explain for any of you archaics living in a crater for the past 4 months. The first Droids were cumbersome and buggy; too large to really be convenient for private, personal use, and too unreliable and frail for successful commercial applications. You used to see the technology utilized mostly in reception and hospitality, rolling around in human shape at head height with the intention of comfort for humans that interacted with the surrogatess… ’cause that totally made them less inhuman. Direct descendants of these came to be the electronic tellers that assist us at banks, restaurants, retailers and anywhere else they could replace order-takers, receptionists, and counterpersons.

An apparent breakthrough in nanotech has created an abundant availability of smaller scaled electronics, possibly spawned by the Japetians (they’re always so ahead with computers and robotics). But whether they’re developed and engineered on Saturn’s most forward-thinking moon, or manufactured and assembled on one of its more impoverished satellites, I’m sure we can thank the companies of the ringed world for collaborating with the Earthling enterprises that have their hands on all the resources and patents needed to mass produce a new generation of personal gadgetry.

My brand of speculation aside, tinier components allowed for more intricate systems that required less energy to power the machines. Suddenly these robots where no longer restricted to the leash of their umbilical power cords… or the confines of the designated safe zone preemptive to incidents with their micro-nuclear reactors. The addition of an A.I. Processor turns a robot into a “Droid”. These Communication bots were able to leave the home for the first time, transported in the bags and pockets of those able to afford them, who may still be toting around their alpha and beta models, if they weren’t plagued with errors and design flaws.

Now everyone who can is getting themselves their very own Droid, and with good reason! They’re prolific and inexpensive right now, as well as customizable and quite practical in a time when people are trying to streamline and reduce their electronic load already. Also, how handy is it to have portable text, voice and video communicator that acts as a reliable imager, media device, GPS, Wi-Fi hotspot, net browser, social network manager and an actual personal digital assistant? So what if the right combination of apps can give you similar capabilities with a COG, it still won’t do it all for you.

You don’t have to drag yourself down with all the augs and other gadgetry you’d think you’d need to carry out the tasks of the modern daily routine. You especially don’t need to tote around any other smartcomm or handheld that you would normally use like an electronic multi-tool; a droid can do it all for you simultaneously. It’s like bringing along with you a sidekick or being escorted by your chief attendant, or summoning your very own digital-pet familiar. These condensed constructs take care of their owners.

There are going to be some drawbacks to owning a pocket-bot, of course. Data and service plans are going to be expensive, but maybe I’ll be able to cut back on calls and messaging with the net at my disposal anywhere I go. I’m sure It’s going to be awkward becoming adjusted to always being connected to my social networks constantly or always having my actions and thoughts being monitored by my machine, but after a short while the strangeness of never being alone will fade—like I’m sure it has in anyone else living their lives entirely synced. Of course I worry about what would happen if my mechanical buddy became damaged or lost, and about being hacked and having my private information or the Droid itself used against me.

All very valid concerns, but I’ll be able to adapt and overcome them if it means owning the most astro tool ever sold I’ll be up to par with trends of technology and fashion; and gaining a certain sex appeal associated with intelligent devices. Not that I find I’ve ever really needed to be riding the crest of a new wave, but it would be nice not to be crushed underneath it for once.

So now I’m pacing and waiting anxiously by the airlock. I’m that impatient kid that saved up and just went online to order their first toy from the other end of the Solar System. This is just the first toy that’ll actually do everything.

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PREV: CH. 61 «Need a COG»

PREV: CH. 61 «Need a COG»

NEXT: CH. 63 «Me and Nomi, the Γ-555»

NEXT: CH. 63 «Me and Nomi, the Γ-555»


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