The hardware technology and packaging, interesting though it is, is only secondary in importance to the libraries and working software of the Companion. The physical form of the Companion, eyeglasses, is a convenient package because it gives easy access to the eyes and ears, is lightweight, is big enough to contain the necessary hardware, and is already an everyday sight.

But the Companion's technology may be delivered in other ways. One possible configuration would be similar to a pocket calculator with a foldout viewing screen, similar to Apple's Newton. Or the Companion could be designed as an implant, inserted into the body, powered by blood sugar, and connected directly to visual and auditory nerves. Assuming it will be harder to work out these biological details than to use known technologies for visual displays, audio, and so forth, an implant version of this technology—while inevitable—seems further in the future.

One style alternative that may be quite attractive is wraparound goggles that would cover the entire visual field, producing an artificial-reality effect that is much more compelling.

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