Updated: Oct 4, 2020
1. THE INVENTION
3rd Friday March, 6 p.m.
Police Pods were under surveillance across the streets. The buzzers were raucous and resonated across all the neighborhoods. People were at their front doors or at their doorway bemused, scared and petrified. Flying PodSpheres were getting dispatched from the pods and flew straight to the entrance of each and every house. PodSpheres are electromagnetic devices, spherical in shape about 11cm in size and having the ability to fly with the help of micro propellers. They had the capability to scan people, buildings, and literally anything, a built-in loud speaker to announce government decrees and many more features like photogrammetry to measure and interpret the surveying area, taser tabs which helps to launch electric capsules onto beings which are identified as hostile. The PodSpheres were the eagle eyes of the Police. Ever since it was introduced, it had sparked controversies and protests across the country. Many opposed them citing it denied individualistic freedom and people’s privacy has been ripped apart due to these flying spheres.
The patrol officers inside the Police pods activated the emergency program and transmitted the signals to the PodSpheres. The program rendered the PodSpheres to survey each and every house, look for suspicious expressions in people’s face, check for Elysian Tab devices and the SynTapes, and instruct people to leave the lights on, in all the rooms of their house until sunrise. This was to prevent the denizens falling asleep in darkness which has been banned by the government right from this day. The PodSpheres flew around each and every house, scanning the buildings thoroughly for Elysian Tab devices.
One of the PodSpheres came to the entrance of Rod’s house. Rod was standing by the front door. The PodSphere identified Rod by facial recognition, perceived his expression as confused, not a sign of concealment. It then started scanning his house. Once the scanning was completed, it announced the government’s decree:
“Hello Mr. Rod! Your home has been scanned thoroughly. There is no sign of Elysian Tab or SynTapes. You are ordered to leave the lights on during the night until sunrise. Any anomalies will be dealt severely and will end up having you arrested. If you know anyone who is using or concealing Elysian Tab you are asked to report it immediately. Your residence will be under 24 hours surveillance and will be monitored for diurnal activities regularly. Thank you!”
Rod was still wearing the confusion look on his face. The PodSphere flew away to the next building. He shut his front door, turned around and leaned against the door. His face changed. He now became anxious gasping for breath. He rushed towards his bedroom.
10th Wednesday February, 5:02 p.m.
Television had evolved into TeleFrames, popularly known as TF supplanting TV. The thick plastic design of these electronic devices which were common at the beginning of the 21st century had transformed into thin frames, able to be mounted within the walls. Some models even had a crystal glass version wherein the frame was made up of sheer glass, giving the impression of a mirror when it was turned off. The TFs had motion sensor, facial recognition, room temperature control, home monitor, smoke detector and almost anything you could imagine. And these TF’s came with supplementary NanoCams, golf ball sized camera devices which had replaced the CCTV camera system that were prevalent 100 years back. These can be placed around the home anywhere as per the customer’s choice. The TeleFrames were simply the remote control of modern homes.
Rod had the glass version. He was returning home from work. He opened the door, came inside and gestured his right hand to make “O”, implying the TF to turn on. The TF turned on.
“Good Evening Rod! Welcome back to your Home. You look tired. Listen to this cheerful music while you get refreshed. Hot water is awaiting you in your Shower Booth. Let me know if you need anything. Enjoy your shower!” pronounced Teddy, the customized Virtual Assistant of Rod’s TF, in a subservient tone.
Rod was indeed tired. Teddy had facially recognized immediately when it had been gestured to turn on. Rod took his SmartPanel out from his pant pocket, the 22nd century’s smartphones which had also transformed into thinner glass design made with metallic glass finish, giving it’s new name. They were flexible allowing the users to fold it anyways and their use had grown beyond calls and messages. SmartPanels now served a multitude of purposes. Rod was not in the mood to instruct Teddy. He placed his right thumb in his SmartPanel and thought I want to watch News. Teddy stopped the music and responded:
“Oh, I see that you want to watch some News. Here you go Rod, your favorite News Channel OneNation” and brought up the News channel on the display. There was a special coverage running on the channel about the recently invented Elysian Tabs.
“...Well it has been mixed reviews so far for the Elysian Tab device. Invented by Dr. Richard Wilson and his team of Scientists and Psychiatrists, the Elysian Tab is a revolutionary device that is yet to reach the commercial market for people’s use. But there is no paucity for controversies about this device and speculations on what the consequences would be to humanity if it was allowed to use widespread...”
[To be continued]