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Homing Socks

AI electric socks that miss their mate and go looking
  (+22, -3)(+22, -3)
(+22, -3)
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Mobility must be a clever combination of smart material and bendy slim line battery chemistry, perhaps even with a recharge when worn. The sock could move in a snake-like motion or caterpillar type. (I prefer the caterpillar option because something moving gently around the house at night in a snake-like motion may freak people out). Speed need not be crucial but a digitally coded individual signal would be needed to bring the pair together and not attract other people’s socks from around the neighbourhood.

A downside with this is that a non-missing sock might go awol joining the wanderer in location unknown. My cure might be a pre defined meeting place agreed with the wearer and the socks for example the washing machine or laundry basket. In fact another simple agreement between the sock community (colour matched of course) and a suitably sentient washing machine should mean that fresh pairs crawl back to your sock place..

Absolute credit to st3f for a domestic variation on the flocking road cones (Might be able to use the same AI and save development costs-will need tweaks). Couldn’t find anything on Google tho.

andrewuk, Jan 20 2002

one for c`dog http://www.elogmag....0/10-feature8.shtml
"Firmware in bread" [andrewuk, Oct 17 2004]

[link]






       I have a picture in my mind of a signal gone crazy and all the socks in the neighborhood leaving their houses and inching caterpillar-like towards your house.
TeaTotal, Jan 20 2002
  

       As a matter of course the AI would be programmed not to cross over sleeping people, and slink out of sight when house guests are around..
andrewuk, Jan 20 2002
  

       And all those old socks that have been thrown out will be seen scuttling across rubbish heaps looking for their partner - while obviously also having developed the intelligence to wage a war against rats for the territory.
signetswan, Jan 21 2002
  

       Sure, I'd be willing to pay $3000 for a pair of AI homing socks, if I could wash them... and if I had $60,000,000,000.
seal, Jan 21 2002
  

       please reassure me that if one of these things becomes faulty, it will not throttle me in the night
po, Jan 21 2002
  

       You know that if these became reality, then some people would get turned on by throwing all their homing socks on the bed and lying down among them as they slowly crawled around to find one another. Or, you know, so I imagine.   

       (Please, God, I can't wait another day, how I tremble at the thought of it.)
sera, Jan 21 2002
  

       The third nominee for "best picture" is "As Faithful as Footwear" -- the heartwarming story of a sock swept over the edge of the drum in the washer, flushed through the treatment plant into the river and out to sea, only to end up being beached on the barren coastline of Iceland, and the amazing journey of this faithful friend, which crawls all the way to Reyjavik, boards a freight ship, and finally crawls the remaining two thousand miles home, stopping along the way to persuade a young girl not to jump off a bridge, to collect $1,000 in donations for the 9/11 relief fund, and unraveling part of its yarn to help feather a nest with three precious little bluebirds which otherwise would have perished in the cold, and then finally triumphantly reaches home, bleached and threadbare, only to discover...[sob!]...I...I just can't go on!
beauxeault, Jan 21 2002
  

       This would place a definite upper limit on stride length.
angel, Jan 21 2002
  

       Instead of programming pairs of socks to find each other, which would require a separate signal for each pair of socks, the signal transmitter could be in the laundry basket or hamper and all socks programmed to find their way into the basket. If the signal is only good for a 1,000' - 2,000' radius around the basket, there shouldn't be a problem with the neighbors socks coming for a visit, either.
dana_renay, Jan 21 2002
  

       Except in apartments, which would develop little drifts of socks against shared walls that weren't hampers on both sides. (Of course, you'd still know where your socks likely were; an improvement.)   

       There must be something to keep clean socks from crawling back into the laundry hamper - closing one's sock drawer, I guess.
hello_c, Jan 22 2002
  

       First Law:
A sock may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  

       Second Law:
A sock must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  

       Third Law:
A sock must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
waugsqueke, Jan 22 2002
  

       Currently playing - Kraftwerk: "The Socks"
hippo, Jan 22 2002
  

       I dare say there might be a chance of overclocking/chipping, but that obviously would create issues in terms of higher household insurance, product lifespan etc. It might make sera happier though.
andrewuk, Jan 22 2002
  

       waugs, rods, hippo: I'm starting to picture pairs of socks with 'Daneel' emblazoned on one ankle and 'Giskard' on the other (as featured in 'The Caves of Lint' and other books).   

       andrewuk: I cannot to accept the credit you bestow. Whether you wrote this having read 'Flocking Road Cones' or not, this is an independent idea that stands on its own two feet, darn it, refuses to toe the line set by recent first postings. It may even heel some of the rifts between the older, crustier, halfbakers and the freshly laundered 'what else did you get for Christmas' newbies that have been appearing of late.
st3f, Jan 22 2002
  

       wow telepathic socks.
kaz, Mar 11 2002
  

       Ah, but how strong is the pull? I mean, would you always have to sit with your feet together? Would walking down the street be like walking in a worm bed with the socks wriggling, trying to come back to each other?
barnzenen, Mar 13 2002
  

       Well, if you just sit with your feet slightly apart, I guess the socks would try to wiggle towards each other but, being hindered by your feet, they would end up giving you foot massage.
herilane, Mar 13 2002
  

       If the socks are so smart, they should at least be able to wash themselves. Plus, why stop at crawling, they should able stretch and then launch themselves into air to clear obstracles with relatively easy. Once airborne, the socks would reform themselves into aerodynamic shape and gently glide themselves to their destiny. Of course, these are special trained socks that would rescue other socks in direct danger like being drop between the laundry machine and the wall. They are the "hero" socks that help unite ordinary socks which can not crawl themselves together.
bing, Mar 14 2002
  

       <churning>OK, it's been a year now. Why isn't it baked yet?</churning>
lurch, Jan 20 2003
  

       There would have to be some sort of encryption on the homing signal to prevent international sock thieves driving up in their vans and luring the socks pied-piper like to the sweat-shops of the sock slave trade.
oneoffdave, Jan 21 2003
  

       Bluetooth transceiver socks. Push a little button, and if the mate is nearby, it'll beep.
RayfordSteele, Jan 23 2003
  

       As the newbie I hesistate to comment on this. However, as the guy at work that wanted to bet his coworker that there would be firmware in loaves of bread in 50 years I sympathize.   

       I think the big question is: how do you get them to move without turning them into metal boots? How do you get them to move without putting AA batteries into them or giant metal rods?   

       If you can repel things with static electricity, and a van de graff generator creates static electricity, can you use a mini van de graff generator to make socks flip end over end across the carpet? There are an awful lot of technical obstacles....
ChinnoDog, Jan 24 2003
  

       BTW a national British supermarket chain is going to replace barcodes with RF tags... firmware type stuff. Collect your bet now C`dog.   

       See link
andrewuk, Jan 28 2003
  

       Tha Matrix begins...
Bongmaster, Jul 16 2003
  

       I like the rf tag principle.
andrewuk, Nov 09 2003
  
      
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