Minimalist to Maximum Immersion
1. Wachowski Socket
The Wachowski Socket is one of the oldest methods of entering the CogNet simulation, and is the most intrusive, the most problematic, and requires the least amount of equipment. The Wachowski socket is a neural plug that is wired into the host's brain so that the CogNet can be mainlined into the cerebrum. While it is the oldest method of using the CogNet, and was pioneered in the the last days of the HyperNet (Internet v2), it is increasingly archaic and seen as barbaric. The most common problems with a Wachowski socket revolve around the fact that having one requires invasive cranial surgery, and that without protective programs and equipment between the brain and the CogNet, there are serious risks. The most common allegory is that using a Wachowski socket to access the 'net is like raw dogging a complete stranger. While there are certainly bonuses to the level of immersion, there are no protections and tons of risks.
2. Dermatrode Interface
Considered the least effective level of immersion, the Dermatrode Interface system relies on a number of contact devices placed against the temples of the head, where the signals are transmitted through the thinnest part of the skull. While functional, dermatrodes are generally seen as cheap or throw away devices. Some early gaming systems and work systems rely on dermatrode tech, most are used as disposable devices, containing a one use access code to enter a specific local.
Short version - Dermatrode interfaces are the burner phones, or gimmick give aways of the CE. Play a new game, here is a demo.
3. SQUID Visor
The SQUID Visor is based off of the SQUIDband system, which started as a memory recorder and playback device. The SQUID Visor is a very common but generally lower end piece of equipment that uses the quantum interface of a SQUID, but adds supplemental audio and visual stimuli through the physical eyes and ears. These are commonly used in work applications, or in places where terminals are public, such as a library or public center, or a Cog Cafe.
SQUID Visors are the work phone or work computer of the CE
4. Cog Gear
The go-to for Immersion systems is the ubiquitous Cog Gear. This is functionally a Neurohelmet that uses a large number of SQUIDs through the liner to allow the brain massive synchronization with the CogNet. Originally pioneered as control devices for mecha and aerospace military vehicles, Cog Gear was found to be more useful in sync tests. A person wearing Cog Gear approaches 70% immersion, allowing them to feel like the places they are visiting online are functionally real, and only serious outside stimulus can break them from the digital experience.
Cog Gear is on par with a basic entertainment system, a large television and possibly a basic surround sound system, and are commonly available from a large number of suppliers. There are even specific types of Cog Gear such as gaming helmets, or gear for passive watching, or gear for nature adventures, or immersive stories.
5. S3 Rig
The S3 Rig, Synthetic Simulation Systems, or S3, is the definitive word in Cognitive Electronics. The S3 is so successful that many people forget that it is not the actual name of the specific technology, but a brand name like Q-tip, Kleenex, or Jacuzzi. The S3 integrates a variant of Cog Gear, but has an adaptive body harness, allowing the user to move and actively feel what is happening, rather than relying on Cog Gear switching off GABA receptors in the brain, and replacing them with its own input. People using S3 rigs actually feel impacts through reflexokinetic bodysuits, temperature changes with thermal inlays, and even move and run within the simulation.
The S3 Rig is the gamer computer system, or the rig where the user has 3-5 monitors set up to do their thing, or the full surround sound stereo system hooked to a massive television screen. People with S3 Rigs are proud of them, like people who own BMWs and Audis, or horses.
6. MOTHER Box
The MOTHER box is a marvel or horror of CE technology. It is functionally a closet sized space where the entire interior is lined with powerful SQUID transmitters, and a central control console, allowing a user to sit in absolute comfort, and experience dual realities, that of sitting in a comfortable control seat, and being immersed in the CogNet. This allows for an unimaginable level of synchronization with the net without being completely drawn inside it.
The original MOTHER box systems were created as spaceship control systems, and few are privately owned. Most that exist are used for data intensive systems, such as air traffic control, or managing the operation of a mass driver, or the original purpose, running a spaceship, arcology, or something else massive and self contained. Some wealthy people keep MOTHER boxes, and owning one is on par with megayachts.
7. Morphean Womb
The last word in CogNet synchronization, a Morphean Womb uses hardwired dermatrodes and a liquid suspension tank to fully immerse a person in the CogNet. The addition of IV feed lines and catheters allow a user to remain in a Morphean womb nearly indefinitely. The first such wombs were created by military agencies to create cyberwarfare supersoldiers, which proved laughable. The best such digital warriors were actually viral constructs reporting to AISC commanders, acting at nearly the speed of light. The second tier Morphean wombs were used to create dream tanks and research accelerators, and a few were used conscripted to investigate treating physical and mental disabilities.
The most obvious use of a Morphean Womb would be the pods from The Matrix.
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