Re: a new thread

From: Ian Field (
Date: Thu May 18 2000 - 16:11:23 MDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Adrian Tymes" <>
> > I've been thinking in terms of physiological (genetic) modification to
> > nervous system, and possibly nanotechnology to create the physical
> > interfaces on an "as-needed" basis (I know - I'm not in a hurry).
> Nice dream for the future. But a business would need to get something
> out the door en route, to get itself there.


> > Consider a dedicated neural "processing" center for i/o and decoding
> > it's bidirectional communication) - similiar to speech centers? Add a
> > capacity" nerve which connects this center to an ending in, say, your
> > wrist. When a physical interface is required to an external machine,
> > nano-entities create microscopic electronic passageways to the surface
> > the skin, which interact directly with hardware. Advantages to this: 1)
> > might not need a "standard" physical interface to connect to (nanotech
> > adaptability), 2) probably no infection worries, 3) the nanotech could
> > probably insulate the body from any raw electricity or radiation. Also,
> > since I've got nano-entities in my world - they might as well repair any
> > tissue damage that does occur. :-) Primary disadvantage: this all
> > on currently nonexistent technology.
> Intermediate step: determine the nature of those microscopic electronic
> passageways. Could you come up with some that could be implanted and
> left in? If so, then there's no need for nanotech to create them on
> demand, thus bringing this much closer to current tech. (The neural
> processing center still has to be developed, of course.)

You're making sense here. Nanotech is sexy, but not immediately practical.

> > | * Tymes, Adrian. Direct Sensory Feedback from Prostheses. Diss.
> > | UCLA, 1996.)
> >
> > :')
> Hey, if you've got it, use it (as appropriate). I can send you an HTML
> version of this if you want, though it's not the best dissertation out
> there, and most of what it argues for has already come into commercial
> reality since it was written.

Please do.

> > | Both problems are already being worked on. Perhaps a good first
> > | - tackling only the first issue, not the second - would be a hard
> > | implanted in one's arm, with an I/O plug or minicomputer worn around
> > | and communicating via induction. The plug/computer could get stolen,
> > | but stealing the data would not be a pickpocket's work, as opposed to
> > | (say) a laptop.
> >
> > I like it! You'd also have one foot in the door on more "complex"
> > (see above).
> Which is why it is a good *first* product. Chain the products out so
> that each one takes you one step closer to your ultimate goal, each one
> building on existing tech (previously deployed products counting as
> "existing" by definition).

Question - what is required to get regulatory approval on an invasive
prosthetic device? What about medical associations?

> > | Remember, business plans are about *business*. Funders don't care
> > | submissions of proposals to standards bodies - at least, not directly.
> >
> > My logic on this: The development of a standard contributes to
> > and validation of your business model. From a risk perspective: theory
> > cheaper than application. From an economic and sociological
> > society is going to require a period of adjustment to even the most
> > of "AHCI" applications - the standards process is a good start. There
> > many people who would view even this conversation as immoral/dangerous.
> Granted. And for that reason, it would be a good secondary activity for
> the business, to protect/enhance acceptance of its products. But just
> developing the standard will not, in and of itself, generate revenue, so
> you also need something that does.

Very true.

> > | The most overriding question you'll have to address: how are you going
> > | to make money off of this? There are many ways you can do this, but
> > | have to look to find them.
> >
> > I suppose I would look forward to a decent salary for the next ten
> > develop a working prototype in late 2009, go into production in 2010,
> > in 2012.
> Aye, and there's the rub. Businesses have trouble predicting the market
> even five years out, so funders don't like to invest in startups that,
> even if things go as planned, won't see a penny of income for ten years.
> Now, get something that can go into production by 2005, and one can plan
> to use the profits from that to fund research through 2010, since the
> funders can cash out on the first one if things go bad.

Your forcing me to reevaluate - thank you.

> BTW, having retired, what would you do then? If you've been working on
> this for ten years, and now that it hits the market, people are coming
> up with all kinds of uses, would you really be content to only further
> your vision for a mere two years? (Maybe you *could* retire
> financially. There's a reason why people like Bill Gates and Larry
> Ellison are still with their current companies, regardless of what one
> thinks of said companies.)

You're right, I was being dramatic. There is almost nothing that could keep
me from my work - at least, for as long as my efforts are valuable. Anyway,
thanks for your input. If you don't mind, I might contact you one of these
days to discuss further. For now, I only have time to dream...


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:11:23 MDT