Hot answers tagged

66

Youngsters. The first computers read and wrote punched cards or punched paper tape; they did not have any kind of user interface where being blind or sighted mattered. It was perceived as major revolution when some smart technician adapted a typewriter to be able to print computer output; electric teletypewriters were then adapted so that operators could ...


14

I see no differences in how computer would have developed. The first computers used punched cards to take input and give output (one of the favorite prank among nerds in those days was to swap two random cards in the physical folder containing them, when the owner was not paying attention), and graphics came much later. And the reason is that when you move ...


9

I think the biggest difference would be in the development of user interfaces. If computers had been designed primarily by and for blind users, I imagine a much more sophisticated version of the Refreshable Braille Display would be in common use by now. I'm imagining a grid of keys instead of a single row forming a kind of tactile screen. This would allow ...


8

Nothing, humans already have an excellent (if underused) sense of smell. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/may/11/not-to-be-sniffed-at-human-sense-of-smell-rivals-that-of-dogs-says-study In the latest paper, published in Science, McGann points out that in absolute terms the human olfactory bulb is bigger than in many mammals and a literature ...


6

There's a story from the age of the Altair. The Altair was one of the first computers that a hobbyist could afford. You put it together yourself, and then hopefully it worked. It became an odd solution in search of a problem. Nobody quite knew what to do with it. There were "computing clubs" where people met to try to figure out what it could do. In ...


6

Most likely not To simplify smell, a creature is taking in atoms or molecules into a sensor, and those atoms or molecules stimulate the sensor. Searching the web it seems it's generally accepted that there are approximately 100,000 - 1,000,000 atoms per cubic meter in Space. Contrast this with Earth's atmosphere at sea level, which has about 300,000,000,...


5

I think a good technology to consider in comparison is the telegraph. The telegraph also began as a technology processing bits of information that while accessible, in that they used the sound/touch of tapping, was also cumbersome to use in that it required the user to learn a specialized code to both input and interpret. So, you had a specialized profession ...


5

If I wanted to "smell" space I'd use a mass spectrometer with such a long mean free path, smelling would be highly directional with all the limitations that implies (like line of sight)


4

Smelling is almost the exact same as tasting with your tongue and they are very closely linked. It happens because particles react with certain cells, and those cells send a signal telling you what you are tasting/smelling. Because it's space, there's almost no particles to interact with. You also can't create a lower-pressure area in your body to attract ...


3

High Bandwidth Neural Tentacle Assuming that this species is biologically similar to us, you're not going to get a hard science solution. Memory is not readily transferable - and, in fact, is extraordinarily plastic, stored in multiple locations in the brain. However, you don't have hard-science, and you do have telepathy in your tags, so we can inject a ...


3

You could have them smell the solar wind. https://www.sciencefocus.com/space/what-is-the-solar-wind-made-of/ The solar wind is a stream of energetic particles ejected by the Sun. These include electrons and protons from hydrogen, along with atomic nuclei like helium, otherwise known as alpha particles. There are also traces of ‘heavy ions’ and ...


3

Believe it or not, there are aromatic molecules in space, and these molecules come in a number of fun flavors which vary depending on where you are. There is a dust cloud near the center of our galaxy that contains ethyl formate, the same chemical that gives raspberries their smell. Other chemicals found in space include familiar smells like ammonia, ...


2

There's a YT video of a former space station astronaut. Amongst the things he discusses is what he believes is the "smell" of outer space. Basically he said if you broke seal in the airlock before the space properly re-pressurized, you would smell "slightly burned meat." He explains why he thinks that odor is detected. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...


2

The short answer to whether or not intelligence is affected by a better sense of smell is no, but the one thing you can say about evolution is that it trends towards efficiency and the question must be asked whether you need great vision AND great olfactory senses AND intelligence. The brain (depending on the scientific paper you read) uses around 20% - 25% ...


2

Communication between humans works by one human encoding symbols into a medium and transmitting those serially to another human. The bandwidth is limited by three things: the ability to transmit the symbols, the receiver's attention span, and the receiver's ability to process more then one symbol stream. Usually, the encode and transmit link is slower than ...


2

Taste buds and olfaction are essentially the same: detection of environmental chemicals at concentrations unlikely to be toxic. Advantage 1: Directionality. It would be easy to determine a concentration gradient across your body and so identify the source of a chemical. Advantage 2: Opportunity. This is a large sensory apparatus and so this redundancy ...


2

Chemosensing? Every advantage. Early warning predator system, find prey easily, signal and receive status of fellow organisms. It'd be like a dog's nose on steroids. The real question is "Where would this likely evolve?"


2

This reminds me of the braille interface that the character "Whistler," played by David Strathairn, used in the movie "Sneakers." Maybe they are real things but it would take a non-blind person to build these things. As an alternate path you can focus on the person. Blind people could become very adept at quickly processing streams of data and making ...


2

I think that computers would develop very different mechanisms to display information. Some form of Braille dot matrix that stimulated 5 or 10 fingers at a time would run out a practicality for many applications. It would work for simple question answer type problems, but data visualization wouldn’t work well. But, humans have sensitive skin on their faces ...


1

How about if we throw Braille out of the room for a bit. Instead, think of something that combine the other senses. First thing that comes to mind was the musical instrument used to make the music in the movie Forbidden Planet. The idea is to make it more accurate and able to response to hands and fingers movements in 3D. Sound would tell the user where ...


1

Ants' feelers (antennae) Ants can produce scented chemicals also known as pheromones ... Their pheromones are used to communicate with their family... Pheromones are detected at the tips of the ants super sensitive antennae ... Ants that have missing or damaged antennae become very disorientated ... There are about ten to twenty different ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible