CH. 63 «Me and Nomi, the Γ-555»



It’s almost scary how quickly we became acquainted with each other, like it was meant to be. In less than a few days’ time the two of us have become seamlessly integrated as one all-knowing, all-seeing, all-doing machine. This is the sweetest communication device I’ve ever had the pleasure of calling mine. This is my new Droid and her name is Nomi.

I awaken to the pulse of an alarm which gradually grows louder as she becomes impatient. The motion sensor notices my arm reaching in the dark and the touch screen illuminates itself to help me find her. I grasp her sleek, aluminum frame and with a swipe the alarm is dismissed, obliging her to address me with a programmed greeting.

“Good Morning, Master Klay,” she sounded in a mechanical tone. I could see why these things were so popular.

The expression on her the face faded into the home page. One app’s widget displays a universal inbox: holding all incoming messages and transmissions addressed to me from my various social networks, and gives me an input field to broadcast back on all of them simultaneously. Another provides me with a combined minifeed from all the networks that make up my apparent social-web. Even the chatter not directed exclusively at me; the status updates, media uploads similar contributions from every profile each person matintines on however many sites we mutually frequent mashed into one constantly ticking Macrofeed. Another widget open is a newsource aggregator which allows me to customize which set of sources I want to stream a feed of news and happenings from, and delivers their headlines to me as they break.

There are several other panels and apps and widgets available for assisting me with whatever I may need digital assistance; only distractions to me at the moment. I feel compelled to clear my feed inboxes of all the messages I received from the parts of Sol that weren’t sleeping, then I could get on with my day. This requires plenty of viewing and digesting information from a hundred different places at a time, which probably lead to the Gamma-555 model being named “Chomp” on the market. When I received and activated my Chomp I decided on the name Nomi for her. An apt name, as my cybernetic companion chews through them in almost no time, and finishes serving me my informational breakfast before helping me find a real breakfast.

There are many ways I can go about this, now: accessing my navigator app and inputting the name of one of my favorite restaurants to get directions to their nearest franchise or branch, or by going into 3D view to see which blips pop up in the immediate vicinity. Of course I have other apps that just give me a filterable list of every type of eatery or shop within a certain distance, preventing me from having to sort through blips to see which look like food. Another app, called Scene Here, even makes a game out of picking which location you want to go to by making you check in when you get to the establishment, then by keeping track of who goes there most often and alerts you when you can catch your acquaintances at their favorite spots when they get there.

Intelligent software that drives the programs helps make obsolete the extant tools and hardware existing in the non-modular, non-collective market. You can expect, there are many apps that mimic the functions of everyday devices and stand-alone machines that would surprise you, and more are being developed all the time. Of course this wouldn’t even be giving the smartcomm in my hand her due credit. I did have currently listing off names of Martian Fast Food joints and their distances from my current location, though…

“Nomi?” I ask with an inquisitive call, purely out of habit. She doesn’t actually need to note my tone as a question, only hear that I was saying her name to prompt the voice-command menu. This didn’t mean my droid wasn’t smart enough to mimic human speech paterns and insert mood where she deemed appropriate.

“Yes, Klay?” She responded in a soft, patient voice.

I stand her up on the table with one of the imagers viewing me so she can better interpret my facial expressions. “Where should I eat?”

My droid immediately lights up and begins loading a brower page on her screen, saying calmly “I noticed you were looking at Martian cuisine. Did you want fast food because you’re on a budget, Klay?” as two options labeled ‘Martian’ and ‘Fast Food’ appear.

“No, I just want to get my food quickly,” I say, not expecting her to be able to understand this, and begin to reach for the robot to manually. I stop suddenly when her screen reloads without my input.

“Would you like me search which of the nearby Martian restaurants have quick preparation time reported in their reviews?” the ever-clever piece of communication equipment suggested.

I stared with an expression of shock long enough to realize she probably wouldn’t be able to make sense of it and said “If you can do that, yes, Nomi; perform search on…uhh that.”

The results she had for me all sounded appealing but I just asked her to select the nearest one, calculate directions and forward them to the crawler. I could also have her lead my way entirely with her own onboard navigation as I drove, or just allow her to feed me directions as I asked, but I don’t need to run the battery down any further today.

When she’s finished executing the commands I slip her into my pocket and continue to get ready to go out. I only glanced at her once more before I leave to double check the local weather forecast for the next couple hours as I decide on what clothes to wear.

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Just wanted to snap a quick shot of the sunset while I’m driving. Look at how astro the image quality is on this thing! Thats actually pretty impressive.. I wonder how many mega pixels this thing has..Oh gork–road!!

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As soon as I begin walking through the parking lot towards an authentically run-down Martian restaurant, she’s back in my hands. I access Scene Here and check in to the location. It immediately displays reviews and menu suggestions from the other users and claims that someone with an apparent affinity for anteaters is the ‘king’ of this scene, with the most check-ins out of all the users who have eaten here. It is possible he’s an employee and has a Droid that updates when he clocks in to work. I give him kudos in hopes he’ll have more incentive to deliver better care to me knowing I too have a smart device handy, and could easily praise or defame him, the food, or the entire establishment for all to see in my review. Ratings on these apps are impacting to your business flow these days.

It seems like it would make the entire service and hospitality industry more polite and effective if consumers played a larger role in feedback and review of the services provided, but the only ones seeming to take advantage of it are people with smartcomms to help them report about their experience. If I were a food critic or working as a secret shopper I would have to avoid flashing about fancy gadgetry (like this) to test the establishment and make sure they weren’t just playing up for the media, and actually ensure the same amount of satisfaction to all customers, not just the ones they expect to spend and tip more. I should put Nomi away, though; I’m about to order my food, and I know I’d find it rude if I was trying to help a customer too involved in using their comm.

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I never quite understood why everyone needed to post pictures of their lunch for their feeds to see, but I guess sometimes you need to snap an image if you plan on leaving a review and rating your dining experience. There’s so many things you have to do to participate in this modern, digitized world…its hard to remember to eat your food before it cools.

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It turns out anteater11 is not an employee here, and lucky for him cause I just gave quite a caustic critique to the whole place. The service was slow, the prices were higher than I anticipated, and I could have found better tasting food and more properly prepared ingredients at a drive-thru if I had wanted to eat in my crawler. I leave behind a miniscule tip in addition to my digital condemnations before I get up from my faded vinyl booth and walk to the airlock.

Its early afternoon outside and the ruddy sky has broken through the gloom to reveal yet another beautiful Martian day. The atmosphere is almost clear spare a frame of pink clouds, the occasional passing spacecraft, and a small, light colored blip in the center of the sky that must have been one of this planet’s miniscule satellites.

“Nomi,” I say as I raise her main imager to the air, “Is that Phobos or Deimos?”

Without even a moment of computation, she responds “Phobos. Would you like me to access local star maps, Klay?”

“Yes, Nomi. Why not?” I say back, her screen alight with activity as she loads an app that labels celestial bodies, draws lines to connect our constellations, and answers once and for all what the gork you’re looking at when you see that shiny spot in the night; if it’s a star, a planet, a satellite, or just a distant starcruiser.

This program exclusive to Droids as it requires the power of the nano-uber-computer housed inside each to use the GPS in conjunction with astronomical charts and current net feeds to pinpoint your exact location in the solar system, and inform you what you’re observing in any direction the smartcomm can turn. It’s similar to the autonav AIs onboard starliners and other commercial spacecraft, responsible for plotting and trimming the course over the long expanses of curved spacetime. I’m sure their little cousin could be quite useful to have handy if your private craft ever lost its navi. Not that I’d have any particular use for that feature anytime in the foreseeable future, but it’s one the selling points the gadgets have over AM’s COG, which sacrifices hardware space for lustrous shape and aesthetic abilities.

And sure enough: the pale, crumb-sized object in front of me is definitely the bigger moon, Phobos. If a captured asteroid could ever be considered a big moon. It’s the larger of the only two, which explains why my eye was even able to catch it in the daylight. Behind it and just a few degrees higher is the yellow-lined drawing of airy zodiac constellation, Aquarius, and a large blue dot, not to scale with the surrounding area, with the label Earth.

“Nomi,” I said with a weary sigh as I lowered her from the sky, “I’m done with this place.”

“Where would you like to go, Klay?” asked the feminine mechanism, as if with infinite patience and wisdom.


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PREV: CH. 62 «The Pocket-Bot»

PREV: CH. 62 «The Pocket-Bot»

NEXT: CH. 64 «Really Going to Miss this Place»

NEXT: CH. 64 «Really Going to Miss this Place»


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