Monday, 23 January 2017

Equipment Locker: Mystery Crate I

I often come up with bits and pieces of equipment that don't really fit into any larger theme. I like combing through GURPS Ultra-Tech and the Pyramid magazines devoted to sci-fi to come up with combination gadgets or gear inspired by existing equipment. And rather than let these sit on my computer with no-one seeing them, I thought I'd throw a few of them together at once and put them in a post, as a random grab bag of technology.

So let's open the first crate and see what's inside.

Display Fabric (TL9)
Based on similar technology as video walls (Ultra-Tech, p. 51), clothing can be made into a video display. An integrated computer stores images and controls the display, though an external feed is required to choose or change the pattern or video. This can be anything from a single colour, a still image, an animated GIF-like loop or full HD video. Display fabric is also available in stereoscopic 3D, allowing images with depth. Display fabric is +2 CF, while stereoscopic 3D display fabric is +9 CF. Display fabric is mutually exclusive with varicloth.

Smart Tag (TL9)
Similar to an RFID chip, a smart tag is a tiny radio transmitter that can operate for long periods of time to broadcast simple information. It can't receive information wirelessly, but some limited interactivity is possible by pre-programming in responses, e.g. showing several different phone numbers when different buttons are pressed (this is done by transmitting all the information to the user at once; the buttons are just an interface). Smart tags are used for many purposes, including advertising, automated tourism information, product information, digital graffiti, or even friend-foe identification. Other computers pick up the signal and present it to the user. Smart tags are often configured for people using a HUD, transmitting a 3D image to provide a floating "hologram" that might be animated or have audio or any other kind of sensory information. The content of the transmission has to be set while the chip is in a chip drive or physically in contact with another computer. An integral AA cell allows for 40 days of continuous broadcasting. The cell can't be removed but can be recharged by short-range beamed power. Transmission range is 200 yards at TL9. Range is double at TL10, five times at TL11, and ten times at TL12.
  $2, neg., AA/1000hr. LC4.

Smartgun Electronics (TL9)
GURPS considers all beam weapons and guns of TL9 or higher to come with smartgun electronics at no additional cost (Basic Set, p. 278 and Ultra-Tech, p. 149). In some settings, smartgun electronics may be available but not standard. While Basic Set gives a cost for these features at TL8, there's no cost given at higher TLs. Bought separately, a HUD link is $10, a multispectral laser sight is $10, a recognition grip or transponder ring is $100, and a diagnostic computer is $100. A full smartgun package is $220. Weight and power consumption are negligible.

Solar Fabric (TL9)
Solar cells can be woven into the fabric of clothing, using the high surface area of cloth to their advantage to generate power. A shirt, waist-length jacket, pair of trousers, or knee-length skirt provides enough surface area to recharge one A cell per hour of exposure in sunlight at TL9, increasing to one B cell per hour at TL10+. Time is quadrupled on an overcast day; artificial light provides no power. Multiply the rate by relative light levels for other environments. +1 CF.

Subvocal Microphone (TL9)
Subvocalisation is the act of talking "inside one's head", which produces detectable nerve impulses in the throat muscles. A subvocal microphone is a small adhesive pad that works similarly to an electroencephalogram or neural input pad, detecting the electrical impulses from the throat during subvocalisation and converting them into speech or text. This allows a person wearing a subvocal microphone to "talk" into a radio, computer or other audio device silently. Combined with a speaker worn on the body they are also used for people who cannot speak because of an injury or disability, such as someone who has had a tracheotomy. (This negates Cannot Speak for any creature whose racial template does not have the disadvantage.) They're also extremely useful for covert operations. They can be built into any clothing, armour or jewellery that is worn directly against the neck, such as neck ties, scarves, collars or chokers.
  $25, 0.05lb, AA/1000hr. LC4.

Tympanic Speaker (TL9)
A tiny sonic projector and radio microcomm attached to a gecko adhesive pad, about the size and weight of a British five pence coin (or an American dime). It is usually attached to the skin behind the ear where it can beam sound signals directly into the inner ear via the skull, avoiding any loss or leakage of clarity, quality or volume. If desired, tympanic speakers can cancel out external sounds (giving Deafness to external sounds), decrease their volume (giving Bad Hearing to external sounds but allowing you to ignore any effects of loud environments), increase their volume (temporarily removing Bad Hearing if you already have it), or place a limit on the volume of sounds (giving Protected Hearing). They are often used as discreet hearing aids or earphones for music or media players, but also come in handy as communication gear for military and intelligence operatives, as no external sound is produced.
  $15, 0.0075lbs, 6AA/30hr.

Virtual Reality Implants (TL9)
It's possible to have either VR gloves or a basic VR suit (both Ultra-Tech, p. 54) implanted into the body, so that they are always available for use. People who use lots of AR, VR or holographic interfaces may choose to do this, to avoid problems with forgetting gloves, connectivity issues, sweaty hands, etc. An implanted version of the full VR suit is not available, as a neural interface is cheaper.

VR Hand Rig (TL9)
This the important electronics of VR gloves implanted in the hands, allowing the same ability to manipulate virtual objects without having to don gloves.

  Statistics: Accessory (VR Gloves) [1]. 1 point.
  Availability: Minor procedure (Simple at TL10-12). $100. LC4.

VR Body Rig (TL9)
As above, but with the basic VR suit.

  Statistics: Accessory (VR Suit) [1]. 1 point.
  Availability: Major procedure (Minor at TL10-12). $1,000. LC4.   

Zero-G Shoes (TL9)
A pair of light fabric foot coverings designed to be worn over the top of socks, with muscle-activated gecko surfaces for clinging onto things. In zero gravity, hard soles aren't needed for shoes but the feet still need protection from sharp or rough surfaces. The gecko surface covers the entire shoe – in zero gravity, the feet are often hooked into objects to keep steady. When used to "walk", Move is normal with a successful Spacer or Vacc Suit roll, halved without. The gecko surfaces are much lower power than in climbing gear and can't be used to cling onto objects in normal gravity, but provide +1 to any rolls to maintain footing.
  $340, 0.5lbs., 2A/4,000 hrs. LC4

Display Paint (TL10)
This is a can of spray-on paint containing digital ink. When sprayed onto a surface and controlled with a radio, it acts as a low-resolution video display. This has a variety of uses, from decorating the walls of a room in ever-shifting patterns, screens in temporary bases, or multimedia graffiti. Each can contains enough paint to cover 20 square feet.
  $20, 0.25lbs. LC4.

Holoprojectors (TL10^)
This is an increased and more incremental progression from the holoprojectors given in Ultra-Tech (p. 52), with some renamed for consistency.

  Holoprojector (TL10^): As described in Ultra-Tech. Capable of filling 216 cubic feet, or 2×2×2 yards. $8,000, 4 lbs., C/1 day. LC4.
  Small Holoprojector (TL10^): This is the Mini Holoprojector from Ultra-Tech, but renamed. Capable of filling 54 cubic feet, or 1××2 yards. $2,000, 1 lb., B/1 day. LC4.
  Mini Holoprojector (TL10^): A smaller, more affordable holoprojector, capable of filling 27 cubic feet, or 1×1×1 yards. $1,000, 0.5 lb., B/2 day. LC4.
  Holoscreen (TL10^): A holoprojector that produces a flatter volume to use as a projected screen. Capable of filling 13.5 cubic feet, or 0.25×1×2 yards. If using Thinking Machines computers (Pyramid #3/37 – Tech and Toys II, pp. 16-21), this can act as an interface, taking the normal weight and cost modifiers for interface options. $500, 0.25 lb., A/1 day. LC4.
  Pocket Holoprojector (TL10^): A tiny holoprojector often used as a children's toy, wrist-mounted display or interface. Capable of filling 2.5 cubic feet, or 0.5×0.5×0.5 yards. $125, 0.125 lb., AA/1 day. LC4.
  Micro Holoprojector (TL10^): This is the Holotech Player from Ultra-Tech, but renamed. It can project an image no larger than a golf ball, which may be a still image or a sequence of at most 30 seconds, like an animated GIF. Often build into lockets, keepsakes, music boxes, etc. $10, 0.1lb., A/1 day. LC4.

1 comment:

  1. I gotta say I like this little grab bag idea.