Sunday, March 8

#10 - bionic gadgetry

A recent accident has left all of the fingers on your favored hand mangled beyond repair. A few attempts were made at fixing the damage, but at this point the only choice left is to amputate.

Fortunately, you are in the care of a gifted surgeon who, through recent technological advances, plans to give you bionic fingers that will interact seamlessly with the rest of your hand. However, during your consultations you are offered an even more intriguing proposal. If you wish, any or all of these five fingers can be outfitted with retractable gadgets or devices.

Though this strikes you as eerily similar to the concept behind Inspector Gadget, the surgeon assures you that the operation will be both safe and reversible. In other words, if you find the device-laden fingers to be more trouble than they are worth, you can have them replaced with the standard mechanical models. Furthermore, the advanced apparatus will not cost you anything extra. This doctor has been eager to test out the new technology and has been given a government grant to do so.

Still a bit skeptical, you inquire into the design of these proposed fingers. It seems that in general, they will appear as normal human fingers, or at least as normal as bionic fingers can be made to look. The device within each finger will be activated by a small toggle switch located on the corresponding knuckle (and can be retracted with the same switch). The design of the toggle is such that it would be difficult to trip accidentally. Any electronic devices would be powered by solar panels located just under the translucent surface of your bionic fingernails.

With this information, do you elect to have any of your fingers converted into retractable-gadget fingers? If so, what devices do you select?

Some things to consider:

1) This isn't magic. Whatever devices you choose would have to stand a reasonable chance at fitting within a finger-sized envelope (no butcher knives, in other words). Also, if you wanted any of your fingers to act as dispensers (PEZ, silly string, mustard), you would need to refill these digits from time to time.

2) You'll want to be specific in designating each gadget to a particular finger. If you wanted a safety razor in one finger so that you could shave, you'd have more control if it were installed in your index finger rather than your pinkie.


Matt said...

Thanks to Dan P, Laura W, and Evan for the basic idea behind this post (though their original concept focused solely on condiment-dispensing fingers).

Chris said...

Index finger = writing utensil
Middle finger = car key
Ring finger = house key (or mail key)
Pinkie finger = magnetic strip from my ID badge at work

I certainly won't solve any global issues or be prepared to fight crime, but I will spend far less time worrying about losing my keys and ID badge.

Holly said...

First of all, I must say I am a bit horrified at this scenario because it has been a latent fear of mine since, oh, I figured out that such things actually do happen (as in the mangling, not the inspector gadget hands). BUT - if I were to outfit my new hand with handy-dandy (get it : ) new features, they would be as follows:

My thumb would contain a spare key to my car. Getting locked out is no fun, and since it is naturally the strongest digit, it could handle the force of the turn. My index finger, since it has the best fine motor control, would contain a spare pen/pencil. Either can be selected depending on how many times the knuckle is pressed. My middle finger would contain a sturdy, poking device made of metal. This could have many uses, such as poking through that annoying layer they put over the honey, milk, ketchup, etc. My ring finger would contain a supply of vacuum-packed tissues - each click of the knuckle would shoot one out. And finally, the pinky would contain chap-stick for those blistery winter months. And...I just realized I repeated two of Chris' responses without realizing it. Boo.

Sheila said...

I think the pen/pencil idea is a fabulous one, so I'd definitely pick that (middle finger). I'd also choose a paring knife, or at least as small of one as could fit (since a butcher knife isn't allowed). This would go in my thumb - hold the food with my fingers, then chop with my thumb! I think I'd also keep a hand sanitizer or soap or some sort in a finger so that I could get in the habit of 'washing up' before and after meals (ring finger). With that in mind, perhaps I should also keep a toothbrush (first finger) and toothpaste (pinky) on hand for the same purposes. That makes five fingers. And now I am practicing putting imaginary "toothpaste" from my pinky onto my imaginary "toothbrush" on my forefinger. I must look really stupid.

HeatherR64 said...

I think mostly everyone has said some pretty good ideas, except that I don't want any liquid in there. Just seems like there might be weird mishaps, plus I'd never remember to refill it or what have you.

Actually I guess I'd have the same problem with a pen, now that I think about it. I'd want it to be a high quality pen - who makes refills for finger pens???

I really like the paring knife idea.

I think mostly I'd want something that lights up - a flashlight-type device (maybe motion-chargeable?).

Matt said...

thumb - lighter
index - pen
middle - small cutting blade
ring - Phillips head screwdriver
pinkie - flashlight

I tried to focus on utility, though I toyed with the idea of having a cuckoo-clock type bird in my middle finger. It would be a funny gag, but would probably also get very old and just isn't useful enough.

I rarely have use for a lighter, but the potential to have fire right at my fingertips seems like it could come in handy.

And instead of an actual knife, I might choose those little Swiss Army knife scissors. Anything that could cut.

James said...

this is my favorite one so far =)

thumb: guitar pick
index: laser pointer
middle: writing utensil
ring: MindDrive (see below)
pinky: a stack of rfid chips

If I push it (hey, electronics are getting smaller every day right?), i'd also like to fit position sensors into each of the fingers so I can use my hands to control computers a la Minority Report. I'd power and communicate the position sensors via an RF unit I can wear on my body somewhere.

MindDrive is a real commercially available brain-computer interface.
it's for real....i've seen it demo-ed. It can decode 2D commands, providing a mind-controlled mouse cursor for the user. I'm assuming it can be internalized into this finger.

Luke said...

index finger-beef jerky dispenser
middle finger-an ant colony or a tiny fish tank
ring finger-some sort of knife
pinky-an additional pinky would come out of my pinky

i feel like if i had some sort of bionic gadgetry on my hand it would be too weird for the gadgets to be practical so i think i would try to make the object absurd hoping this would make my bionic gadgetry normal. if people are going to ask to see my gadgets, i may as well have some gadgets to keep them entertained. with the exception of the knife i think they would also be more of a hassle than anything.

Derek Timothy said...

Index finger: pen and stylus (the toggle idea mentioned previously, except I'd prefer the stylus to the pencil).

Middle finger: a razor-sharp cutting edge.

Ring finger: a lighter.

Pinky finger: an LED flashlight device.

Thumb: a vibration device.

Yes, I went there, no, I'm not sorry, and you know I'm not the only one who considered this. :)

laura said...

thumb: It is weird, but I want something that I could chew on while I work that could be easily replaced. I know that this might make people around me uncomfortable. It might also be made of candy, which would be delicious.

index: Flashlight.

middle: Chapstick.

ring: Some sort of specially-designed mp3 device. I imagine that Apple would get on board with the idea.

pinky: A hook with carabiner.

runner-up: The lighter/other fire-creating device. I like the idea of having fire at my fingertips (and it would be intimidating to my foes), but I would also be afraid of accidentally setting something on fire.

julia said...

little machine guns on all fingers.

Amy said...

Thumb: Lighter (great idea Matt)
Index: Chapstick/lipgloss
Middle: Writing utensil(s)
Ring: Tape measure
Pinky: USB Flash drive

@Derek: Good luck finding a (new) girl who's comfortable using bionic parts in that way.