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Source: Count Zero, Page: 240

Now Marly found herself locked into Tally's tanned, lithe, tremendously comfortable sensorium. Tally Isham glowed, breathed deeply and easily, her elegant bones riding in the embrace of a musculature that seemed never to have known tension. Accessing her stim recordings was like falling into a bath of perfect health.

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This fairly obscure quote from a cyberpunk novel has profound implications if you think about it - implications which stand up to scrutiny for actual sensory replacement. The ability to give the feeling of having a good body, of being physically fit, well, and beautiful to someone who is perhaps none of the above, would be a tremendous killer application, and perhaps extremely habit forming.

The technology being referenced here, is of course SimStim, simulated stimulation, or the art of overriding all of the sensory stimulus that arrives at the brain, with artificially created variants. The idea being that basically the signals the body naturally sends up the brainstem are intercepted, blocked or otherwise cancelled out, whilst a computer system regulates the body's internal systems, overriding any out-of-place brain reaction. The discomfort felt would be brief as it would be replaced by either live sensory feed from another person/virtual environment, or, much more commonly, a pre-recorded "tape" of pre-edited bodily sensation.

You would find yourself sitting in a chair, or standing, with the sight, hearing, taste, scent capability of the person in the SimStim. You would feel the wind across their skin, and the position of their muscles. Your thoughts of course, inside your head would be your own, but all sensory input of the outside world, would be via the recording. You would perhaps hear yourself speak in a voice that was not your own, not matching your thoughts, and perhaps flirt with someone you would never really do so with.

In fact what would make a pre-recorded SimStim so enjoyable to many, might not be sex tapes, but the simple experience of feeling a body in perfect health, all aches and pains forgotten, if only for the duration of the experience. This above all else, is what would sell them commercially. The other content just being added bonus.

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About the Book 'Count Zero'
By William Gibson
Produced By Ace Trade; Reprint edition

?He spent most of those three months in a ROM-generated simstim construct of an idealised New England boyhood of the previous century. The Dutchman?s visits were grey dawn dreams, nightmares that faded as the sky lightened beyond his second-floor bedroom window. You could smell the lilacs, late at night. He read Conan Doyle by the light of a sixty watt bulb behind a parchment shade printed with clipper ships. He masturbated in the smell of clean cotton sheets and thought about cheerleaders. The Dutchman opened a door in his back brain and came strolling in to ask questions...
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