A neural lace is a general purpose biomechanical computer implant.
Biological regulation and interfacing
Laces may autonomously regulate the flow of gland secretions to enhance bodily responses and functions. Laces may go to sleep with their host, and awaken from an adrenaline rush. They may wake their host in response to urgent communications.
Information retrieval and display
A lace may create virtual screens over the eyes. A screen over one eye requires attention of only half the brain; the other half may continue to handle interactions with the real world.
Virtual representations of dataverses may also be created, with the presented information being based on the lace's predictions of its host's needs. The representations could be near overwhelming, despite only being a fraction of the complexity and depth normally experienced by Minds.
The experience provided by a lace may feel more "real" than the real world due to its detail and immersiveness.
The lace may be used to interface with machines.
Awareness speed enhancement
A lace may monitor the health of other body implants and augmentations; this may be a security feature to guard against hostile action disabling those implants and augmentations by stealth.
Construction and structure
The lace grows from an implanted seed, interpenetrating and coexisting with the host. An existing lace could be quickly modified with outside help, but it could take a few days for it to bed-in properly afterwards.
A lace resembled a three-dimensional mesh of fine wires that was slippery and light to the touch. A full lace increased the bulk of a brain by less than 0.5%. The wires could appear as glisteningly blue or silvery-blue in colour.
Laces are mostly constructed using bioabsorbable material; only a few particles of exotic matter may be present.
The largest filaments of the lace were hollow and filled with fluid or brain matter when implanted. The smallest filaments were invisible to the naked eye. Level 4 civilizations typically did not have the technology to detect laces.
The largest filaments could survive heat that would incinerate organic matter, although the smallest filaments would be burned away.
Laces may be removed without ill effect.
One method of removing a lace takes a year. The lace gradually withers and shrinks, its minerals and metals are absorbed by the body, and the exotic matter is excreted through urine.
A lace may be corrupted, possibly allowing control over its host; this may be possible under extreme conditions where the lace cannot draw support from external sources.
- Surface Detail, chapter 10
- Excession, chapter 5.6
- Excession, chapter 5.4
- Excession, chapter 7.2
- Matter, chapter 10
- The Hydrogen Sonata, chapter 10
- Excession, chapter 1.3
- Excession, chapter 6.2
- Excession, chapter 8.6
- Look to Windward, chapter 7
- Surface Detail, chapter 5
- Look to Windward, chapter 15
- Matter, chapter 5
- Excession, chapter 9.7
- Excession, chapter 11.7
- Surface Detail, chapter 3
- Surface Detail, chapter 22
- Surface Detail, chapter 21
- The Hydrogen Sonata, chapter 21
- Surface Detail, chapter 25
- Excession, chapter 9.9
- Surface Detail, chapter 7