ASSOCIATES (2007, July, v. 14, no. 1) -

Bessie Mayes
Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center
San Diego, CA


Upon arrival, Arthur grabbed his CD container and rushed frantically toward the wall of glass, his eyes searching anxiously for the palm print module. As he inserted his hand into the opening, a mechanical voice asked him to pass the container through the portal tube. At this point, the door opened before him. Arthur sighed with relief as he entered the building. His breathing slowed as his thoughts went to the mission at hand.

The fact that he had just gone inside prior to closure made him pick up his steps even more as he descended to the main floor of the building. Arthur looked backward to the top floor as the entrance sidewalk descended toward the Main Selector Station section of the building.

He remembered that in his haste, he had forgotten to touch the sensor on his spectacles to change the vision setting. After touching the button on the ear piece, images appeared of floating screens he was accustomed to seeing.

No objects were evident to the naked eye without these sensors. As part of public service, the Library provided the viewers along with the upgrades if the patron wanted access to more products and services available.

He had personalized his views to only include those TVO programming of interest to him. Arthur could pass the time of transport to the Selection Sector while watching the latest soccer matches, today between Brazil and Italy.

The pod slowed at the entrance of the Main Selector Station, and as Arthur stepped out of the pod, the massive doors opened as he placed his palm again into the slot for identification.

Arthur knew exactly where and what he had come to acquire, and so hurried some past a line of people near the Exit Portal, waiting for next service pod.

He wouldn’t have much time he thought. Fortunately, there appeared to be no lines at one of the access terminals. He quickly ran to the computer to begin the request process. Opening the container that held multiple discs in various forms, he inserted the ID that included his personal information.

A recent move to another home mode meant a little change in his personal information, but this only required using the touch pad to key in the new data at his personal library home page. This page also showed on his home entertainment center module, but he had wanted to beat the closing time, thus deciding to do the input here. After Arthur completed this task, he selected the fiction genre from the most used or hot button category.

His daughter had requested the new Harry Potter book from the home portal, and although most books were downloadable from there, the new arrivals required disc transfers of data. This insured that a user would pay at least one visit to the Main Selector Center for materials, which also gave the Selector Center an opportunity to advertise other events of interest for viewing via the sensor lens. Arthur pressed the "load" key, and put the disc into the slot.

In a matter of seconds, a list of new titles appeared that he had selected from his home portal that would interest his family to have in their collection. One of these was the Harry Potter recent release. He pressed the key to select this entry, and within seconds, the disc he had placed into the slot ejected. The data transfer was complete. After the proper exit protocols were initiated by the portal as he had completed that task, Arthur turned to check on another section of the Selector Center.

He had planned to test drive the new SUV on the market from Cadillac. He had particular interest in the one called SRX Crossover. While checking the clock via his LCD image in front of his right eye, he determined he had enough time to at least view the image, if not actually test driving the model at the Virtual Visualization Sector.

As the automated sidewalk slowly moved toward the VVS Section, Arthur mused at the image of store specials displayed over his head. His main interests selected from a list provided by the library portal needed a bit of tweaking, he thought to himself.

He had learned from his neighbor, Fred, that the latest update to the library portal allowed for open-ended selections now. So instead of having to key in a range of years for the latest product release from various companies, the prompt allowed the selection of "unlimited." This meant no more guessing at how long he would be interested in getting information on products. The products would automatically update to the newest release, and the old would be archived until he determined that the memory be cleared from his history.

Hmmm, Arthur said as the aroma of freshly baked bread waffled toward him. Remembering how his wife loved the Paradise Bakery’s cinnamon rolls, he almost jumped off sidewalk to grab a few to take home for dinner, but thought better of it.

He would get the rolls later, after the test drive. Upon entering the VVS Sector, Arthur noted that a studio room was empty, and promptly entered it. The room was large enough to allow for a comfortable cushioned seat and various other tools to ensure the full experience range of selected images whether visual or virtual.

Arthur needed this experience to be virtual, so he placed the virtual visors on his head. He then pressed the selections for the car data. Within seconds, Arthur was inside the SRX Crossover Cadillac. The scenery he selected to surround the car appeared as Arthur began his country side drive experience. Lake James sparkled in the sun light beside him as he drove toward the Mt. Jennings. He wanted to test the cornering and stability devices, all now standard features on these models. As Arthur began his ascent, he heard an unplanned interruption. A voice softly intoned the announcement that the Main Selector Center would be closing in thirty minutes.

Reluctant to end his experience so quickly, Arthur decided to save the program for a later time. But he also wanted his wife to see what he had decided to purchase too, so he also downloaded the virtual program into his Blackberry. His family would then have the chance to comment on the car and test drive it at home on their own entertainment room.

These were options provided by the library that really suited Arthur, and made his day more productive, as time to attend to these same tasks would have taken hours out of his day--hours he could not spare since he traveled extensively for his company.

Musing, Arthur thought that these trips to the Main Selector Center satisfied his needs. He was able do things for his family, such as purchasing his wife’s favorite foods from the stores there. And while he was still thinking this, he remembered the audio tunes and that his daughter, Kate, wanted him to bring home for playing and viewing on her Sony E-Reader. Arthur pushed the key, which displayed a list of new releases in the cinema. He quickly downloaded the movie to his Sony E-Reader, noting the softly toned voice repeating the time for closure was soon at hand.

Arthur stepped on the automated sidewalk which would take him to the exit entrance of the Main Selector Center. As he approached the bakery, he stepped off the sidewalk to grab the some warm rolls for his wife. For himself, he picked up a couple of butter croissants to have with the California wine and cheese with tonight’s dinner. Swiping the card monitor for payment, he exited the store and again began his journey again to the exit.

Feeling good that his task list was completed in under an hour, Arthur left the Main Selector Center, eager to share his collection of products and items with his family.


..coming someday soon, to a building in a town near you ...


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