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Source: Mona Lisa Overdrive, Page: 98

The thing in his hands was like a pair of black goggles, sunglasses with bumps and wires.


He hooked the goggles over his ears and tapped something; a light came on below the right lens.


"What is this?" Backing away from Gerald.

"A medical examination," Gerald said. "Nothing painful." He had her against the window; above the towel, her shoulderblades pressed against cool glass. "Someone's about to employ you, and pay you very well; they need to be certain you're in good health." The light stabbed into her left eye.

"She's on stimulants of some kind," he said to Prior, in a different tone of voice.

"Try not to blink, Mona." The light swung to her right eye. "What is it, Mona? How much did you do?"

Our Thoughts on this Quote

The 'pair of black goggles' can only have been a heads up display system (HUD) from the description and usage. This one, specialised for medical examination purposes.

We have nothing like that at this time, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility. A normal HUD works by utilising cameras on the outward facing side of the unit. On the inner side, against your eyes are display screens. The HUD takes the physical world data, adds a virtual component then sends the results back to the wearer?s display screens.

Now, this quote does not say what the digital component is - nor does elsewhere in the book. However, as the output is entirely digital, any number of transformations could have been applied to the image.

We already have technology that can take an image feed, and greyscale it, or highlight the lines, or even shift the light spectrum, making ultra-violet or infra-red visible for example.

Systems such as ferriscan, currently just starting to be used in hospital scanners, will take a MRI image, and recolour the spectrum in real-time. Altering it so iron levels stand out clearly visibly where they would not normally do so. This is very likely the kind of technology the glasses here use; the ability to recolour light to see blood vessels, or iron content, or copper, or any number of chemicals, just with the attached light and the processing power of the glasses.

As it stands, we are not far off actually possessing this level of technology.

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About the Book 'Mona Lisa Overdrive'
By William Gibson
Produced By Spectra

Mona Lisa Overdrive, penned in 1988, is the third and final book of William Gibson?s Sprawl trilogy, and also, his third book. Following on the heels of Neuromancer and Count Zero, Overdrive is by far the most lightweight of the trio, basing more in reflected glory from the other books, than attempting to stand on its own.

Set in the same world as the other two, some twenty years after Count Zero, it has lost the feeling of fast-paced change, as both technologically and culturally it feels almost stagnant, unchanging.

Borrowing heavilly on past character ...
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