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Virtual Home .01 beta

Carry tech and be less homeless with it
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Homelessness has been a part of human life since a Frenchman, Oog was forced out of his home by his wife after several arguments involving his hunting habits, her hygiene, the new girl he dragged into the cave, and her willingness to trade away a whole dried mammoth for some pretty beads.

Things have become a lot more complicated since that time, with causes and effects of homelessness shifting between more advanced economic concepts. But there has never been a real solution.

Poverty-caused homelessness is a degrading and sad condition. It leads not only to pain, disease, and hunger of the individuals in question but to higher crime rates, less social participation, stress on social safety nets, and bigotry. Traditional methods of relieving homelessness only succeed when they amount to giving anyone a home who needs one, a method antipathetic to people who subscribe to certain less collectivist social philosophies.

Several technologies have now advanced to a sufficiently high level to, converged, deal with this problem head on. I give you the Virtual Home! This wonder of modern technology fits into a standard shopping cart and has more use than everything your standard homeless person carries there already. If more storage is needed the shopping cart can be linked to another forming a kind of train. Furthermore these can be motorized but I digress.

The virtual home consists of these modules

Module 1: 3-D headset. Powered by a battery in the main module this device presents the attractive view of a virtual home, a home which can be of any size and enjoyed in its fullness from a tent or wandering about in public drunkenly rambling. The view is best enjoyed with the use of module 2. It acts as one of the outputs of the virtual home and includes noise- canceling headphones such that the user can enjoy the comfort and quiet of his virtual balcony with a breeze blowing and a mall flock of meadowlarks arguing from a nearby tree, even if she is in fact in a run-down abandoned house with the less pleasant sounds of sirens invading the night.

Module 2: Two small treadmills at right angles with each- other. In combination with the VR headset these give the user the feeling of walking wherever he like in his "home". When he turns they pivot up to 45 degrees each such that whatever direction he turns, he feels he's actually moving that direction. Used in concert with the VR headset software running on the virtual home can tell where the user believes himself to be, which leads me to

Module 3. Virtual furniture. These consist of: 1. A bedpad on a roller, such that any direction the user rolls can be felt as real space. Thus a bed of any size can be emulated. It sits on one side of the treadmill and when the user approaches it in virtual space the treadmill slows so that the user actually reaches it. When she gets off it turns so that she steps onto the treadmill again. (some vertigo is a necessary side-effect of use of the Virtual House) 2. A virtual table. Folding out to the distance the user can reach it provides a surface that in virtual space can be a bedside table, a coffee table, a kitchen table, or anything of the like. It combines with 3. A virtual chair. It's a regular chair with just a few automated joints to let it slightly change size. It includes an air cushion that can inflate to simulate an easy chair. Again by cleverly regulating the speed of the treadmill the user can reach it, by which time it should be able to change shape to emulate the specific virtual space chair the user wants. 4. A virtual bathroom. This requires that the device be connected to a umbilical. It includes a bare shower surrounded by a curtain and a sink. It also includes a toilet. This is the least plausible but it doesn't seem too expensive to provide basic plumbing connections in return for ending homelessness. It can operate in precisely the same way as the other devices. It can connect to standard plumbing available in public restrooms has a device that attaches to a sink faucet) or be omitted entirely. Where the user sees a large, comfortable bathroom with all the amenities the device need only actually offer the necessary bare inputs and outputs. It can be made sufficiently small by the use of small pipes at higher flow rates and completely emptying itself each time before folding for storage. The sink can do double duty as a kitchen sink and the standard table can virtually become the kitchen counter when used that way. 5. A virtual kitchen. The house only has two burners and a very small refrigerator. In addition the storage space usable in the virtual world is limited to that available in the real world. Several small boxes are used with the virtual world tracking where in the "house" each belongs. So if the user reaches for his virtual kitchen cabinet the house chooses the box that he used last time in that virtual space. Thus real food can be stored and cooked in the virtual house. Some use of cameras is needed to let the user see the food he's actually working with.

Sadly some appliances cannot be offered at all. There's just not enough space or power for a washing machine and drier, an iron and ironing board, or dozens of other amenities. Nevertheless as a large but sparsely furnished "house" it should serve admirably. Air conditioning is also not offered but there is a powerful fan that can be controlled in V-space and seen there as a fan in each room. It requires a large battery and the user must find outlets frequently from which power can be stolen.

Later editions can improve the many aspects of this design which may be lacking such as stealth, mobility, size, weight, storage capacity, and battery capacity.

Voice, Aug 22 2014


       And your paragraph breaks were SO GOOD until that seventh paragraph that's almost as big as the entire idea. The pinky get tired, I know, but it gets stronger with use.   

       I like the concept but when you find a logical method to break it up into more readable pieces I can come back,read it, and bun it.
normzone, Aug 22 2014

       As I may have mentioned otherwhere, the simplest solution is to implement the homeless in software, rather than having physical homeless people getting in the way.   

       Software homeless people can be deleted or duplicated at little or no cost to suit prevailing conditions. They can be upgraded as new mental illnesses are invented, or as new economies collapse.   

       They can even be backed up and archived during times of prosperity when the community doesn't need as many homeless people.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 22 2014


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