Posted by: dystopiandaze | January 28, 2011

Hoverboards, interface rings, surges, oh my!

One of the most interesting aspects of the Uglies is the technology described by Westerfeld. From hoverboards to surges (additional cosmetic surgeries that pretties often apply for) I was amazed at Westerfeld’s creativity. However after reading his blog and doing some research of my own, I’ve discovered that the technology in Tally’s world can sometimes directly translate to our own current technologies.

Airboard by ArborTech

In Uglies, hoverboards are a popular mode of transportation among both the uglies and the occasional pretty. It looks a lot like a skateboard without wheels and operates by using nearby magnetic force fields to hover above the ground (a grid of magnetized metals was installed under the city for this purpose). The user mounts the board and can accelerate, change direction and change altitude by balancing on the board appropriately; as a safety feature, the user wears wrist-bands that will stop the user from crashing fully to the ground in the event of falling off the board. Unfortunately we just don’t have the technology to make hoverboards a reality right now; I’ve complained to my Aerospace Engineering friend, though. There is, however, a pretty cool thing called an Airboard which instead of using magnets, uses the same principles of conventional hovercrafts to float above the ground on a “cushion of air”.

Bracelet Phone by Nicolas Nicolaou

The interface rings worn by all of the citizens can do many things; receive messages, transmit messages and (gasp) keep a record of what’s been said and where you’ve been. They can also control the settings in a room, much like a remote control to a television. Our cell phones seem to save much of the same functions, minus the style and functionality of fitting around a finger… but what about a wrist? Apparently there’s a new phone design being tossed around that’s a voice activated, touch screen-touting bracelet… I want one! On the flip side, it’s a bit scary to realize that this sounds like such a good idea to me because I take my phone with me everywhere. Pardon the paranoia, but with all these conspiracy theories out there about the government tracking us with our cell phones… well, keeping our phones with us at all times via a bracelet/ring/whatever sounds pretty convenient.

Without giving too much away about the next book in this trilogy, Pretties…

Tally took a steadying breath, the room spinning again, but in a good way. She gestured for the windows to transpare a little more, and in the sunlight she saw the new additions.

“Ooh, pretty-making.”

Bolder than all the other implanted glitter, twelve tiny rubies ringed each of Shay’s pupils, glowing softly red against emerald irises.

“Bubbly, huh?”


Yes, even some of the most ridiculous cosmetic surges of Tally’s world have become a reality in ours, as seen below in the contact lenses developed in the Crystal Vision competition that really do feature Swarovski crystals.

Swarovski Crystal Contact Lenses



  1. The wristband bracelet watchband actually sounds pretty convenient since I feel like I’m constantly looking for my phone. hahaha I also love the sparkle contact lenses! Bling for your eyes is pretty awesome!!

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