Utility Fog

Utility fog is a concept developed by Dr. John Storrs Hall that describes nanoparticles that are polymorphic. The microscopic particles, known as “foglets”, would have the ability to float suspended in the air as a fog, or connect to other particles to form solid objects. The foglet particles would need some form of ability to process programming instructions and communicate with other foglets and a control source.

Utility Fog: The Stuff that Dreams Are Made Of – [kurzweilai.net]

Rather than paint the walls, coat them with Utility Fog and they can be a different color every day, or act as a floor-to-ceiling TV. Indeed, make the entire wall of the Fog and you can change the floor plan of your house to suit the occasion. Make the floor of it and never gets dirty, looks like hardwood but feels like foam rubber, and extrudes furniture in any form you desire. Indeed, your whole domestic environment can be constructed from Utility Fog; it can form any object you want (except food) and whenever you don’t want an object any more, the robots that formed it spread out and form part of the floor again.

You may as well make your car of Utility Fog, too; then you can have a “new” one every day. But better than that, the *interior* of the car is filled with robots as well as its shell. You’ll need to wear holographic “eyephones” to see, but the Fog will hold them up in front of your eyes and they’ll feel and look as if they weren’t there. Although heavier than air, the Fog is programmed to simulate its physical properties, so you can’t feel it: when you move your arm, it flows out of the way. Except when there’s a crash! Then it forms an instant form-fitting “seatbelt” protecting every inch of your body. You can take a 100-mph impact without messing your hair.

Utility Fog – [nanotech-now.com]

Nanotechnology is based on the concept of tiny, self-replicating robots. The Utility Fog is a very simple extension of the idea: Suppose, instead of building the object you want atom by atom , the tiny robots linked their arms together to form a solid mass in the shape of the object you wanted? Then, when you got tired of that avant-garde coffeetable, the robots could simply shift around a little and you’d have an elegant Queen Anne piece instead.

Here’s a short list of the powers you’d have or appear to have if embedded in fog:

  • Creation–causing objects to appear and disappear on command.
  • Levitation–causing objects to hover and fly around.
  • Manipulation–causing forces (squeezing, hitting, pulling) on objects (real ones) at a distance.
  • Teleportation–nearly any combination of telepresence and virtual reality between fog-filled locations

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