A Neural-Sharing Technology. Beware the Catatonic Symphony.
They move as one, conjoined by sensation, their fused identity a sample of all that is wrong with the Aempian Undercity, and of Aempis itself. Individuality withers beneath the overwhelming firing of nerves of the catatonic symphony. Everything loses cohesion and a sense of self, you lose all ability to discern right from wrong and instead become just a limb in a greater body. Sensate is not dangerous in terms of physical harm, though there are sensate hordes which may attack you in the Undercity. It's dangerous for what it does to your sense of self. They're a drug which opens you up and calms you down, inviting you to lend them your nerves and your voice, yet another instrument in the catatonic symphony.Sensate is an implant which allows thought, physical and emotional information to be transmitted into a person. This information can be actual—output from another Sophont, or artificial—computer generated.
The most visible danger of Sensate abuse is the loss of self. In a network of multiple Sensate users you constantly feel what they feel and hear their surface level thoughts. Enough of that and you start forgetting which are your own.On top of the existential ramifications of Sensate abuse, Sensate users may find themselves at the mercy of whatever information they are hit with. Even secured Sensate implants may end up hacked, and the user may then be victim to epileptic fits brought on by a viral attack, or may end up suffering in agony as raw pain is transmitted to them. Sensate implants also pose a security risk as malignant can use them to read surface level thoughts of the wearer. This information is invaluable for stealing personal information for personal gain or selling to market interests. After Anthem determined that Sensate use is here to say she uploaded a KitPrint that was more secure against these issues. The upgraded design separates the transceiver from the brain unless a physical contact is made, which is done by holding down a Dermal Button on the user's neck.
CultureSensate and Grist users share a common culture of seeking out new sensation, emotion, and thought, and so it tends to be that users of one technology become aficionados of the other. It is particularly common, especially among Net-Leeches, for people to download Mixtapes of emotions, large filed packed with synesthesiac sensation about an actual or artificial experience. These experiences can range from sensual to spiritual.
After its initial release, Sensate caused mass issues within the country of its origin, Aempis. Entire sectors of industry lost productivity due to Sensate abuse, and it took nearly a full year for the initial wave of panic to wear off before Anthem brought it under control.
Sensate is also directly linked to the birth of Desire, as she arose from the collective mind of a massive Sensate hive.
Sensate paved the way for advanced forms of sharing information among individuals. Comms still have a large part of the underlying Sensate codebase and machinery to them, albeit throttled to be less addicting and intense and more informative.
Let's get strung out on eachother.
Safer permutations of this are the backbone of the modern Comms used ubiquitously today. Most people don't touch this technology due to the inherent dangers to privacy and identity.
The mechanical aspects are simple enough, but the neural interface side of things are tricky, and even today the technology is modified and enhanced by hobbyists and military interests alike.
- Thrum Song