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Old 08-09-2014, 06:19 AM   #1
vicky_molokh
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Default Smart adventurers wear their eyes on the outside . . .

Greetings, all!

I'm thinking about picking a fully external, PnP, flexible vision aid for my character. An external vision aid is extremely useful for all sorts of adventuring stuff, whether looking for clues, watching for ambushes, looking behind corners or keeping one's back safe every few seconds without turning one's head. So, I present . . .
The OPTACLE.

What is it?
The idea is a splitting tentacle with some of the best optics money can buy. Non-biological. Splitting into two or more, depending on whether trifocal vision is desired (and useful).

The matter of price and quality.
Well, maybe. Transhuman Space has flexible robotic tentacles/snakes, and they cost very little, starting at $500 for a pack of eight short and small ones (Shell-Tech 14). I'm guessing a good meter-long tentacle with a 3-split will not cost more than $2k, with all the connectors etc. included.
Now, the more interesting part: the cyber-eyes themselves. It seems a bit hard to figure the precise cost of optical sensors on their own, only in bundles with stuff like human-likeness or a whole other shell.

Some precedents:
A bionic (i.e. electronic, but made as a prosthetic device mimicking a human eye) eyes cost $20,000 each for Acute Vision +3; $30,000 each for +4; $40,000 each for +5 (BD133).
That's . . . lots. But remember, these are not eyes made for function, but also for style, and for compatibility.
It seems more interesting to take the optical sensors from . . . a Wingbot (Shell-Tech, p.22)!
A complete wingbot costs $24k. Its optical sensors are Acute Vision +3, Night Vision 10, and Peripheral Vision, and sport 3 levels of tolerance towards overheating or overcooling (not likely to matter, but still). And that's a set of at least two sensors, possibly more (because it has Peripheral Vision and lacks No Depth Perception).

What I'm stumped about:
How to figure how much of a Wingbot's price consists of the optics, and how much would the optics' price bump for improving Acute Vision from 3 to 5?
Edit: I know Multiview cameras with Telescopic Vision 4 cost $1,200 each, but does that look as a reasonable price for swapping TV4 for AV5?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:03 PM   #2
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Smart adventurers wear their eyes on the outside . . .

Aren't there optical cameras in Ultra-Tech? I'm pretty sure there are some in the TS core too.
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Old 08-09-2014, 03:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Smart adventurers wear their eyes on the outside . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
What I'm stumped about:
How to figure how much of a Wingbot's price consists of the optics, and how much would the optics' price bump for improving Acute Vision from 3 to 5?
I would look at the prices for video cameras. UT doesn't seem to distinguish between video cameras and still cameras, but in the end this is just a camera with a slink link to the user and some weird biotech to control it (the neural links so you can control it mentally might be the most expensive part).
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Old 08-09-2014, 03:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Smart adventurers wear their eyes on the outside . . .

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Aren't there optical cameras in Ultra-Tech? I'm pretty sure there are some in the TS core too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
I would look at the prices for video cameras. UT doesn't seem to distinguish between video cameras and still cameras, but in the end this is just a camera with a slink link to the user and some weird biotech to control it (the neural links so you can control it mentally might be the most expensive part).
Multiview is $600 (TS151), but that's a Vision+0 device. It can be improved to have Telescopic Vision 4 for double mass and cost, but that's not what I'm looking for - I'm looking for Acute Vision, like on the devices I mentioned.

As for the neural interface - not an issue, I'm playing a Ghost, so it's a matter of proper drivers, just like for teleoperation or possession.
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Smart adventurers wear their eyes on the outside . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Multiview is $600 (TS151), but that's a Vision+0 device. It can be improved to have Telescopic Vision 4 for double mass and cost, but that's not what I'm looking for - I'm looking for Acute Vision, like on the devices I mentioned.

As for the neural interface - not an issue, I'm playing a Ghost, so it's a matter of proper drivers, just like for teleoperation or possession.
Is there any kind of $-priced Acute Sense gadget in any GURPS book? EDIT: Not really seeing any in ULTRA-TECH. I think it might be cheaper and more effective to have surveillance dust embedded in the helmet surface and microbot swarms able to peek around corners instead of a physical tentacle. You can get bonuses to sense rolls by sending more spybots to peek so that they gain greater resolution and have better chances to occupy the better vantages. Plus, they are much harder to shoot, and there are many more you can carry as spares.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: Smart adventurers wear their eyes on the outside . . .

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Originally Posted by jeff_wilson View Post
Is there any kind of $-priced Acute Sense gadget in any GURPS book? EDIT: Not really seeing any in ULTRA-TECH. I think it might be cheaper and more effective to have surveillance dust embedded in the helmet surface and microbot swarms able to peek around corners instead of a physical tentacle. You can get bonuses to sense rolls by sending more spybots to peek so that they gain greater resolution and have better chances to occupy the better vantages. Plus, they are much harder to shoot, and there are many more you can carry as spares.
Well, what is 'gadget' in this case? There's a $-priced cyber-eye in BD, but it's meant to look like an eye, and be human-eyesocket-compatible, while performing its functions, and probably has some extra demands on energy-saving so you don't need to recharge it at night.

There's also at least one shell which can be teleoperated for its improved vision, but of course there's no point in teleoperating the whole shell when one only needs the 'eyes'.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Smart adventurers wear their eyes on the outside . . .

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Well, what is 'gadget' in this case
I went through the PDF looking for "Acute" and also looked where sensors were mentioned in the TOC; nothing applicable.

Yes, the lack of necessary detail to decompose shells and gadgets in general into their component functions is regrettable.

Anthony has posted some guidelines before for using multiple sensors for collectively better results, I'll see if I can dig them up or re-synthesize them if he doesn't post them here first.
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Smart adventurers wear their eyes on the outside . . .

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Anthony has posted some guidelines before for using multiple sensors for collectively better results, I'll see if I can dig them up or re-synthesize them if he doesn't post them here first.
Since I don't have any recollection of what they might be, I'm not going to post them. Realistically, unless they're phased arrays or interferometers, both of which are fairly unlikely for this setup, all you get out of it is multiplying your scan rate by the number of observation systems (this assumes you have a separate dedicated computer or subprocess running each camera; if you don't have any extra processing power it's not going to get you much at all, though you might get some advantage just because possible targets are more visible from some angles than others).
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: Smart adventurers wear their eyes on the outside . . .

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Since I don't have any recollection of what they might be, I'm not going to post them. Realistically, unless they're phased arrays or interferometers, both of which are fairly unlikely for this setup, all you get out of it is multiplying your scan rate by the number of observation systems (this assumes you have a separate dedicated computer or subprocess running each camera; if you don't have any extra processing power it's not going to get you much at all, though you might get some advantage just because possible targets are more visible from some angles than others).
Yeah, I wasn't having high hopes about the idea of using a swarm with lots of small sensors in the first place.
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Old 08-14-2014, 01:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Smart adventurers wear their eyes on the outside . . .

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Yeah, I wasn't having high hopes about the idea of using a swarm with lots of small sensors in the first place.
Why not? Each puff of surveillance dust can see as well as a human eye, apparently.
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