There were a lot of artistic leaps taken at the time like handheld communicators (which were, off-camera, slightly modified women's razors) that are comparable today to the common cell phone of a child in Africa. Science fiction once again paved the way for reality to catch up. Now we must imagine greater again for the process to repeat.
In Mass Effect, the Omni-tool is the all-in-one computer that is accessed on and operated with the dominant hand of the user. It has a flashlight, video recording, holographic projection, data mining, remote console interfacing, crafting, holographic blades, writing stuff, even pseudomagical capabilities such as supercooling or superheating the local atmosphere. All of these tools and more simply appear at the will of the user. I ask how one tool attached to the wrist of the user could do all of these things without a bulky interface? I ask and I imagine. I could give a thousand different methods this could work by, but I'll start with my favorite.
What if mudras, a form of yoga for the hand, could conjure up an interface or a command? What if holding the hand in a two-finger position touching the ear automatically ran the communicator program. Once opened, gestures with the hand such as a flick of the wrist could replace broad commands while the left-hand keypad could then be used for finer tunings. What if holding out the palm in mudra like a gesture of giving could open up file displays? Once opened, finger gestures could operate basic commands with the left-hand keypad available as always for more directed changes. What if actions such as throwing or pointing were combined with specific mudras to access the supportive arsenal of the tool? I think the trick to this type of interface would be to create physical interfacing that would not interfere with the everyday actions of the user. For instance, I wouldn't want to accidentally project my pictures in AR while paying the cashier, nor hurl an incineration tech at my coworker at the same time as I throw him the key he asked me for.
Mudras provide a solid foundation for that reality. As well as that, they could provide tangential learning through their use. Specific mudras may match up with their meditative purposes or their existence as programmable shortcuts may allow the user to associate them with desires, providing a muscle memory that draws upon these complex algorithms.
I think if anything of worth can be taken from my ramblings today, dear reader, it is that it's hella important for our tools to incorporate tangential knowledge in them so that they can be easier to understand by our connection-oriented brains. For instance, I like the metric system not only because it is base ten and that makes sense with my anatomy of ten fingers and base ten counting system, but also because one meter is about the common running stride. A journey of a kilometer is tangentially accessible to my mind as a journey of a thousand strides. The system itself is a part of, and teaches me about, the world I use it to describe. I HATE the Gregorian calendar because none of its conventions are connected to things we can grasp on to. The seasons we use the calendar to describe are not aligned in any easily assimilated manner. The units of time like weeks and months are arbitrary at best and do not actively connect to most lives. The names of the month teach us that October represents the 10th month of the year, yet it is named after the latin root for eight. Oh and also being a murderer like Augustus Caesar gets a month named after you. Good tangential lessons right there.
I think it's time I tackle the Gregorian calendar all by itself, but I'll leave that for next time.