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Source: Mona Lisa Overdrive, Page: 118

"Here's a lovely thing," Petal said, touching a rosewood cube the size of Kumiko's head. "Battle of Britain." Light shimmered above it, and when Kumiko leaned forward she saw that tiny aircraft looped and dived in slow motion above a gray Petrie smear of London. "They worked it up from war films," he said, "gunsight cameras." She peered in at almost microscopic flashes of antiaircraft fire from the Thames estuary. "Did it for the Centenary."

Our Thoughts on this Quote

This quote is touchingly sentimental, and at the same time a pretty accurate picture of how display technology can be worked into everyday things, to make it a part of life.

The rosewood cube seems to be a block of polished wood, not at all out of place in almost any home. Yet, it is a computer display system, waiting to come alive. Non-intrusive computing at its very best.

It seems to be a holo-display system, not that dissimilar from heliodisplay and other systems that exist today. This one only has one or maybe a few sequences, which display movie-style in a 3D landscape above the cube?s surface. It is entirely possible, although unmentioned, that turning the cube could bring up a different display.

You can easily imagine these storing photograph or face albums of loved ones, or serving in place oft the television set, as a piece of furniture that actually looks at home in a relaxation atmosphere.

The display itself, the battle of Britain, is both moving and very possible. Modern 3D machine vision systems could not do it but we are moving towards an era that will be able to with alarming speed. Taking the 2D footage of the gun cameras of various aircraft, and using that, and the city below, to triangulate where they are at any given moment. Extrapolate other planes? movements from their positions on-camera, and the limitations of the aircraft. Extrapolate anti-aircraft fire from the bursts that are seen, and damage sustained in the sky.

A great deal of work later, and you have a 3D perfect recreation of an ancient aerial battle.

It is realistic and easy to picture this being done, long before the centenary of Battle of Britain rolls around. Helped of course that the basic display technology is already here.

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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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