I can’t sleep because I’m thinking, why did the man who sold me the glasses describe these glasses as ‘Kirlian’ and ‘TMS’?
Frogs are chirping, the neighborhood dogs are barking and Hiss…huuuh…hiss…huuuh…hiss. It’s coming from my dad’s room. But, it’s not my dad; it’s loud.
I think it’s safe, I crawl out of bed and peer out the window. A full moon lights the night makes so leave my room clutching the glasses.
I turn the knob trying to be quiet…click. HISSSh… Huuuh is even louder… HISSSh…Huuuh…
Slipping into Dad’s office, I push the door half shut without a click and turn on the light near the closet. Hiss…huuuh…
Sliding the closet door open exposes the fossils and I put on the glasses.
The trilobite glows blue and violet as it crawls away from its predator, the Orthoceras. Hiss…huuuh.
I remove the glasses. TMS… What does that mean? I thought Trademark when I bought the glasses, but that isn’t right. I trace around the glasses – the right arm has raised printing. The arms are thick for normal glasses. The whole frame is thick as I trace around with my fingers. There’s something funny here. I pick at it.
The right arm comes apart. Oh pleeeease, I hope I didn’t break the glasses. I invested the majority of my vacation spending money on these.
I get it. It’s a thick flexible strap that joins the right arm and the left arm. Inside the recessed right arm is a slider switch and three hearing aid battery compartments. What does this do? Do I slide the switch and put it on? Darn it, I don’t have my iPhone. I have to get it. Hiss…huuuh.
I turn off the light. Pull open the door, step into the hall, and slip by my door. At least I can see. Reach and grab my phone. Slip back out and back to my Dad’s office. I nestle the door closed without a sound and turn the closet light on again. Hiss…huuuh.
I use the iPhone App to magnify the printing on the side of the right arm. The printing is in Cyrillic, I recognize from Russian posters I was looking at on the Internet for a school project on the Winter Olympics. I don’t have an App that reads Cyrillic and translates Russian to English. I tap on the Apps Store icon. The dialogue box with the magnifying glass and the word search comes up in the top right.
I enter, ‘optical character recognition Russian’ and tap ‘enter’.
‘No Results found.’
I try, ‘ocr russian.’ That’s better.
A bunch of App names come up, ‘Recognizes text using online service.’ That sounds risky. The only review says it’s a ‘rip off’.
Next, ‘Russian Character Reader- Advanced,’ made for Russian to English. There are no reviews. I click on ‘Related’.
They make a different App for each language- Chinese, French and Portuguese. It’s cheap, a buck nineteen. And it says it ‘translates texts on product labels’. I read the description of another App. Still no reviews.
This will be a risk. Either an App won’t work, or my new iPhone will get a virus. Hiss…huuuh.
I tap on an App, then on the price and then ‘Buy’.
Up pops the iTune dialogue box asking for my password. I enter my secret password. The downloading symbol rotates. Then it changes to the install symbol. I tap on install. Hiss…huuuh.
The App icon is on my desktop. I click on the icon. And it crashes.
Cheese wiz! How disappointing.
I repeat the steps with another App. This time the screen shows a camera display in real time. It has a ‘Capture’, a ‘Recognize’, and an ‘Output’ buttons. It has two sliders, one for contrast and one for brightness.
I move the wooden high-back chair under the closet light and place the glasses with the writing on the arm facing upward. I peer over the glasses with the iPhone. Hiss…huuuh.
I adjust the brightness with the slider. Then I tweak the contrast slider. I have a perfect image of the writing. Then I tap on ‘Capture’. The image is still. Hiss…huuuh.
I tap on ‘Recognize’. My iPhone displays the phrase, “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.”
What does that mean?
I save the text to the clipboard and open Google Chrome and paste the text in the search box. I tap ‘Search’.
Wow! I get lots of hits. Hiss…huuuh.
There are pictures of magnets over people’s heads and electronic waveforms. The devices shown are big pieces of medical equipment. In comparison, the glasses are small.
I skim read.
One article says, “These devices translate visual input into stimulation of the audio cortex of the brain. The hearing impaired use TMS to hear sight.”
Yet another says, “Creates outer body experience.”
“Many TMS studies have showed facilitation of language-related tasks, including oral word association, story recall, and picture naming,” says an article.
One article says, “Patients have temporary savant ability.”
Wow this technology is powerful.
A vendor article says, “…sessions are conducted between 20 and 60 minutes, the norm is 37 minutes. The longer the session, the increased likelihood of side effects due to increased length of neural stimulation. The shorter the session, the less likely you’ll experience long-lasting side effects.”
What are the side effects? “Dizzyness.. face twitching.. At high power patients have had one time seizures,” says an article. Hiss…huuuh.
Buuurrr RING ring. My phone! The phone displays, it’s my mom. I answer it. “Hi Mom. It’s 3 am here… I know…. Ya… Ya… I was just reading. Ok… Ok. Love you…Bye.”
Click clickety click click. Ah shoot… WOO WOooo WOO Wooo. Nellie bursts into the room and jumps onto the futon.
“WHAT’S GOING ON?” my dad bellows. “If that’s you Peter, go to bed RIGHT NOW!”
“Ok. Come on Nellie” I go back to my room.
Nellie jumps onto my bed. I want to try the glasses with the strap attached. I will wait until tomorrow. HISSSh…HUUUHhhh
Yeesh, Nellie you snore.