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Echolocation is Lacking
And Ideas For A More Robust Bio-Sonar

A long long while ago, I was enamored with the thought of rocking an echolocation chip (Henceforth ELC). Then I got one, and it was among the biggest let downs I've experienced in the game. My expectations were much too high, and the reality left so much wanting. Recent changes involving dark rooms etc, have pulled this issue back to my thoughts. The ELC has so much untapped potential, and I think with some "software updates", could become a powerful and diverse tool. Here's some ideas for thought:

1. Adjust the ELC to have an on/off switch for steady pulse instead of having to manually input your command every time you want to use it. Echolocation is one of the most fascinating natural phenomena ever, but we learned to emulate it in 1915. Giving it an auto setting just makes sense.

2. IRL echolocation presents advantages over night vision and infrared. It would be great to see some of these implemented ICly.

2a. Did you know dolphins can use sound to tell the difference between a golf ball and ping pong ball by density? What if your ELC could tell you what density and size that shrouded iron slinger is shooting at you? Or from the block over? Or detect a sniper's round in transit? This could be applied across all sorts of items/vehicles/etc.

2b. Echolocating bats can guage distance with sub-centimetre accuracy. Apply that to the ELC, and enjoy a boost to perception. In this way, it could fill a niche that cyberware/nanos currently don't.

3. Ping the room ahead of you? How about asocket upgrade for 360° pulse. The upgrade takes up another socket, but you get to see what's going on in EVERY adjacent room at once.

4. Detecting sneaks in a unique way? Could pose a higher lvl skill check to trick sonar when ducking through a crowd. Similar to another piece of chrome.

Any thoughts or other ideas? Catches or drawbacks? Floor is open.

Right now it doesn't fully do what it's described as doing, it could do with some love.
It's Morbin' time!

I couldn't help myself. How's echolocation supposed to work in crowded areas, where it's practically a sea of people milling around? I'd think there would be too many soft bodies and ambient noise to be useful as an anti-stealth technology.


That's actually a really good point.

Also, here's an idea for a downside. Screamers have a chance to blow out your chip, AND your ears. Bats actually "turn off" their middle ear when they fire off a burst, then turn it back on to receive it. This protects them from their own voice.

Would be cool if screamers emulated that. Lose your chip and your sleeve is deaf now. Get echoes like "JoeBaka's lips are moving, but you can't hear anything."

These ideas are great! The chip is incredibly cool in theory but suffers from virtually no useful functions that other chrome or gear don't already offer, please give it some much needed love.
On the subject of detecting sneaks, it occurs to me that there are places where crowds are very thin, or even non-existent. Like...mwahaha! Apartments.
There is a proximity radar system, it's complex and I'm not sure I'd call it super useful on it's own, but it might be an option for added functionality.