The recent flurry of activity regarding Augmented Reality makes me reflect on how much I liked the ideas in Vernor Vinge’s sci-fi novel, Rainbows End (2006).


The characters ‘wear’ the internet and can effectively be online constantly, with no visible apparatus attached to their bodies. ‘Wearing’ allows one to have a completely haptic experience.

It is particularly amusing that Robert Gu, the protagonist who has been in a coma for two decades and awakes to a world he barely recognises, is also a renowned poet and technophobe who barely mastered e-mail. He is thrown into a world of ‘wearing’ and needs to learn new skills. Very funny. Very pertinent.

Here’s an excerpt from Rainbows End.

NB Vinge is known for his musings on the technological singularity, “the rapture of the nerds”.


Not sure what is meant by ‘augmented reality’, this post and this ad will give you the idea:

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.3557186&w=425&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]


  1. I think we should all read more scifi to get us ready for the ubiquitous future!

  2. I have never heard of the author, but I found a used copy online and intend to dive in. Thanks.

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