RE: Effects of Enhanced Senses for Designer Bodies

Billy Brown (
Tue, 18 May 1999 15:29:41 -0500

Anders Sandberg wrote:
> Chris McCarley <> writes:
> > 3. Add an essentially new sensory capability, e.g. ?
> What about sonar? I have always wanted to have 360 degree sonar to
> give a sense of the surroundings. It could even be mapped onto the
> skin, making the surroundings touch you ("A comfortable little office
> you have...").

We can do better than that. How about sonar-based vision? Distribute a network of sensors through your clothing (or skin, with better tech), and you can easily collect enough data for that. You don't even need an emitter - you can use background noise as 'illumination', if you have enough computer power.

Map the results onto your visual field, and you gain the ability to see through solid matter. You could use color coding to indicate physical properties of what you are looking at (density & rigidity are pretty easy to measure this way).

> > A cognitive enhancement I can think of that would cross
> various categories
> > is the capability to visualize effectively in multiple dimensions..
> Maybe a less volatile visual/auditory scratchpad?

How about a general visualization enhancement? Set it up so that when you picture something in your mind the data is interpreted by a computer, which stores it in memory and echoes it back to you. As you imagine more details the computer adds them to the existing model, and when you shift your mental viewpoint it echoes back the appropriate data. If you can get the feedback to work right this could vastly improve your ability to visualize complex objects - a very useful ability for engineers, artists and VR designers.

Billy Brown, MCSE+I