As you all know, one of the things I post on regularly are the various predictions made by Neal Stephenson in the 1992 Novel, Snowcrash(wikipedia), and how those predictions are slowly coming true. I'm starting to think that Stephenson had a special machine in 1992 that allowed him to peer carefully a dozen years into the future.

I highly recommend the novel, especially if you have any head for science, technology, or computers.

The following is an excerpt from the book--a paragraph from the first chapter (emphasis mine).

When they gave [The Deliverator] the job, they gave him a gun. The Deliverator never deals in cash, but someone might come after him anyway -- might want his car, or his cargo. The gun is tiny, aero-styled, lightweight, the kind of a gun a fashion designer would carry; it fires teensy darts that fly at five times the velocity of an SR-71 spy plane, and when you get done using it, you have to plug it into the cigarette lighter, because it runs on electricity.

Allow me to introduce you to what might be that gun's precursor, the O'Dwyer VLe prototype from Metal Storm.

Have a gander at the video. Now granted, it doesn't fire teensy darts, nor is it the "kind of gun a fashion designer would carry." This gun is big, clunky, and at the moment is only in a prototype single-barrel model. However, the concept is clean and ambitious, and it takes its roots from its mean, anti-infantry older brothers, the 40mm 4 Barrel launcher and 36 barrel Metal Storm prototypes. I think it might be the forerunner of technology that will remold the handgun industry in a way that it hasn't been effected since the invention of recoil actuated(wikipedia) semi-automatic pistols(wikipedia)at the end of the 1800s. After all, it was Hiram Maxim's recoil actuated machine gun that led to the development of semi-automatic pistols. Maybe it's Metal Storm's electronically operated machine guns that will lead to the development of electronically fired handguns.

Track-backs to the other Snow Crash Predictions I've covered:

The Halo Labs Airbag-Vest (The Future Is Here)
The FemDefence system (Neal, You're Scaring us Now)
Google Earth (Stephenson's Earth)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


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