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Assignment: Device of Your Dreams, Part II

May 26, 2009

Anxiety Capture Device v1.0

Let’s just cut to the chase.  Here it is:


What it Does

The Anxiety Capture Device locates anxiety, and isolates and neutralizes it, rendering it harmless or even pleasant.

How it Works

There’s a trigger on the left, a trigger release on the right, a variable resistance input in the center, and a phase change button at the bottom.  There is an LCD screen at the top with a holographic projector on the end, and a palm induction plate on the back:



You can’t push the trigger without pushing the trigger release.  You can’t make a phase change without pushing or releasing all three buttons. 

In v 1.0, there are 5 phases:  Anxiety Location, Visualization, Isolation/Capture, Neutralization and Release.  There are separate screens associated with each phase.

Phase I: Anxiety Location

Hold all three buttons down.  With an incorporated miniature MRI, the device can locate any magnetic disturbance.  Manipulate variable resistance input with your thumb to change the Optical Power and Magnetic Field of the MRI.  You can shift between these inputs by pressing the trigger and release without pressing the Phase Change Button.  

Phase II: Visualization

Once the peak is located, press all three to visualize the anxiety.  If the anxiety is a low-level anxiety, perhaps like one you might associate with Charlie the Unicorn, you can safely adjust the power strength down:


Remember that you only want to use enough power to neutralize it.  The anxiety is part of you, so don’t overdo it.  WARNING: Overpowering could result in neutralization of any creativity you might still have.  Conserve a little battery power too while you’re at it.

If, on the other hand, this is a full-bore anxiety, you’ll really want to amp it up.  A Neopluradon isn’t too scary, but something like a Pleiosaur or Godzilla would probably keep you up at night:


 Zoom in or out once you’ve acquired visualization depending on how much of this you can stomach.  The closer you can get, the more effective the rest of the procedure will be.

Phase III: Isolation/Capture

Press all three buttons and release.   Wait until the anxiety is at its peak (v2.0 will add a utility graph in the corner of this screen).  Hold in the phase change button and trigger release.  Squeeze the trigger.

Phase IV: Neutralization


In v1.0, this phase only lasts while you have all three buttons depressed.  In future versions there might be more functionality: see below.

Phase V: Release

As soon as you release all 3 buttons, the anxiety is released from the device via the holographic projector.

Future Releases

Future plans including a battle-ready version, in which you can actually face your anxiety head on once projected.  As well, once the SOS I/O Arduino has been installed, a Flying Robot call feature enhancement might be introduced as well, so that the Flying Robot can be called in as a proxy:

Picture 11

About the Interface

One might argue that anxieties are in your head, and that an acquisition device would more properly be located there.  I thought about this, but I don’t really like headgear (and if you don’t get why, check this out:


I also like the idea of it being pocket-sized.  I tried some variants on older input devices, seeing as a steam-punked Anxiety Capture Device would certainly be more interesting, but I had a hard time with the fact that there are simply better input devices today.  Technology does march forward:



In the distinction between “science” and “art”, one quickly forgets that all objects are designed, and that there is a weight and inertia to the solutions already out there, whether they are good or bad.  In this line-up, the iPhone is arguably the most advanced interface mainly due to the fact that it is a blank slate that can be rewritten with new software.  But it is not necessarily better ergonomically, or by other standards of interactivity.  


It’s also interesting how little they’ve changed in format over the past 40 years:

Star Trek Communicator



I will admit to hobbling myself by going too quickly down the “handheld” route, and a wearable option might have been more appropriate.  I considered just saying that one of my shirts had the capability built in, but I did feel like I needed to come to class having made something.  Without actually doing the wiring, it would have been like showing up with a stick and calling it a magic wand.



[9:47 PM, 5/26/09: We had a very interesting discussion about dowsing today, and I want to apologize for any comparisons to a magic wand.]

Playing with the ergonomic aspect of the device was interesting, but when all was done, I was amazed and disappointed at how much it looked and felt like a WWII airplane throttle/gun control.

Final Notes

For those who doubt, the MRI will be miniaturized:

  1. we’ll take two.

  2. Shawn permalink

    Yeah.. Where do I buy one? Does it fly?

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