Written by Lynn L'Engle
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Topics: Japan, Technology

Saturday, 27 August 2005

Researchers at Cloud City Circuitry outside Portland, OR presented a new type of hands-free organizer yesterday at the Gizmos ‘N' Gadgets World Trade Show in Kyoto, Japan. In one unit, the size and thickness of a Wheat Thin, consumers can phone, e-mail, and even work online to access all their credit, banking, utilities, and consumer accounts. There is also a built-in GPS, calendar, clock, alarm, and iPod, with option for a wireless AM/FM/broadband receiver and earpiece. What makes this unit so different? It's invisible.

That's right; the WHSCPPR (Wireless Satellite Computer Personal Phone Raspberry, Raspberry is for the small round pink or purple scar that remains after implantation) is implanted beneath the skin, usually under the left or right inside forearm and is accessed by a code containing a series of Morse-like taps on the wrist ). The WHSCPPR then lights up and goes quickly to the menu with no long boot-up time. If the consumer becomes unconscious, the WHSCPPR shuts off and cannot be accessed except by previously authorized individuals with completely different codes.

It also has a GPS navigation and alarm system in which you can type your origin and destination. The unit beeps if you get off course. You can also program it to give you an electrical shock if you don't complete items on your to-do list.

Vice President of R&D for Palm Pilot said, "We're scared now." Blackberry's marketing development manager, who just last week boasted of their "stranglehold" on the personal organizing market, ran screaming from the arena and was later found at a Denny's shoveling down mass quantities of sausage and biscuits. In between mouthfuls, she said, "I just bought an island in the South Pacific. This will probably be my last meal for the quarter."

High schools, colleges, and universities are afraid of the possibilities for abuse, however. Students can access files of tests undetected while taking the very same tests. "This device stabs the heart of the academic world," said Orville F. Trunkmeyer, provost of the tri-university system of Dave's University South in Venice Beach, CA, Dave's University North in Sacramento, and Dave's University of the Universe Online, based in Berkley. Asked if Dave's had an honor code, Dr. Trunkmeyer laughed, not unlike Vincent Price at the end of Michael Jackson's "Thriller."

However, coaches and players of many sports are hailing it as a breakthrough.

"We're so sick of the voices inside the helmet. This way, if we disagree with the play that the coach calls, we can just turn it off," said an athlete who wants to remain anonymous but allowed one picture.

Asked if he would purchase one, President George W. Bush said, "Heck, yeah. Nothing new can be as embarrassing as that Segway mishap a couple years back. ‘Course it wouldn't necessarily help me any. This job can shine one day and suck the next, no matter what kinda techo-gadgets you got. It might be fun. I don't know if Laura'd let me, though. She's not too keen on that many toys right there in front of me. Might mess up my real game, you know?"

Asked if he meant his job as leader of the free world, Mr. Bush said with a snicker, "No, you dufus! My golf game! Cheney wins the penny pot every Saturday and I can't break 80 to save my life. ‘Course, she might like that shocker thing. Laura's a sweet person, but, buddy, if you don't finish her honey-do list, then don't be putting the satin sheets on the bed that night ‘cause it ain't happening."

Already, industry giants like Office Depot and Office Max are hoping for the first shipments sometime next spring. Dink Greevely, manager of the local Office Outhouse in Two Egg, Florida, said he'd ordered 5 million for next April. When asked if he thought he'd sell that many, he said,
"We'll sell at least that many just online. I'll probably have to order more in May." Two Egg has a population of just over 360, except during harvesting, when it swells to 1.3 million with migrant farm workers.
"Them workers, they love them things. Ever one of them has more than one phone hanging off their belt and they talk the whole time they're harvesting," Greevely said.
"The phone I like but the Blackberry I love. I can play video games, talk to family, play the ponies, and listen to music while I'm in the field," said a worker who wouldn't give his name.
Asked how he got the work done while being on the phone and Internet, he laughed. "We get the teenager to do the actual work. What do you think we are, idiots?"
Asked how a sub-dermal implant might work for him, he was ecstatic. "Then our table under the trees would have more room for food if we wouldn't have to have our laptops and phones sitting around."
But he agreed that it would be hard to find a physician willing to do it in the US for him personally. "Unless it was a doctor from Mexico practicing without a license in the US."

WHSCPPR is set to hit stores nationwide April 7, 2006.

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