The Human Antenna Array
An comparison between smartphone and human sensory devices brings up some interesting thoughts and questions. Unfortunately, I don’t know or understand all the tradesman terminology, so I’m sure it’ll come across as baby talk if any specialists like medical professionals, computer scientists, or engineers read this.
I guess when you break it down in the simplest of terms there’s receivers and transmitters. Pretty much every modern smartphone out there has at least four antennas in them (Cellular, YFI, Bluetooth, and GPS). Antenna are often used as receptive instruments, so we’ll just use the broad term receiver, or sensor, since that’s what they do. Then, that would mean at least two other antennas are on the phone, the front camera, and the back camera. They’re just antenna that receive light (photoreceptors).
Since we count those, we could think of the microphone as an antenna of sound waves. Now we’re already up to at the very minimum 7 sensors on each smart phone. Inside the device is also a gyroscope that measures how the phone is being moved, tilted or whatever, so that’s another sensor. There’s also an accelerometer which measures how fast you’re moving, and which direction you’re turning. Maybe there’s some overlap there. Lastly, there’s a magnetometer, which is how the compass works. The tally ends up being at least 11 different receivers of information, which is quite remarkable.
That’s not even considering the transmitters. Some of the antenna, or at least one, also transmits information, when ordered to send communications. Ex. Uploading a video, sending an email, texting, or telling your Bluetooth devices to do something.
Lastly, regarding the phones, there’s an “translation” of sorts going on where analog, radio, or whatever information is being converted into digital information so it can be processed. I don’t have a clue how that works and can already tell it would hurt my head. So, we’ll just gloss over that part.
Well it’s fairly obvious that humans have the five senses, and some sort of other sixth sense going on potentially. There’s seven openings on the face. All seven receive, but only one, the mouth can send information. Although, you could argue the eyes tell a lot too.
Let’s count the possible number of “antenna.” Two eyes for light reception, two ears for sound. A tongue for taste reception. Now we start running into matters of preference, and have to measure things however you want to slice it. The tongue could count twice since it feels as well as tastes. The nose could count either once or twice since there’s two nostrils. Skin covers the whole body practically so that should just count as one, perhaps, but there are also internal sensors as well. So regardless of how a person decides to count it we have at least seven types of sensory devices within us.
We do share the gyroscope, with smartphones, sort of, too, by having the inner ear fluids, hairs, or whatever, that helps us balance. I guess we could say we have an accelerometer, but that really might just be the culmination of several different physical sensations that produce that effect.
The tongue is about the only transmitter we have, but that’s a bit of a stretch. It sort of functions as one.
All of these instruments and functions are as simple or complicated as we want to look at them. Optics are a good example. We see a spectrum of color, so there’s some sort of color reception going on. To further add confusion from sensory overload, there’s the fact that we see upside down. I can’t remember the term, but basically our eyes receive the image upside down, and so our brain has to process the info and flip it right-side up, seriously. Look it up if you want. Why it’s that way, or what sense we can make out of it, I can’t get heads or tails from. With taste it’s not just one flavor we taste either. There’s sour, salty, etc.
Phones as well as people have different qualities of hardware. Some are faulty, unfortunately. Some processors are slower than others and some people see less color than others. That’s kinda like a good quality video card, or not. Some have perfectly fine hardware, but are running software that doesn’t make good use of it.
This maybe isn’t related to humans, but I heard one time that scientists had done experiments on ants, to see how they might be able to find and report food to other ants. Some scientists were thinking that a pheromone trail wouldn’t be possible in especially hot and arid places like a desert, because the pheromones would break down. The conclusion was the ants were probably using a gyroscope or pedometer like understanding of things to be able to know distance from their location to a food source. For all I know more studies have come out since then and everything’s topsy turvy.
When it comes to humans, I’d say that our consciousness is possibly the most analogous to the operating system running a smartphone. We start out with the basic installation package preinstalled onto the hard drive, and over time experience additional programming from our environment as we grow. At some point we begin to mostly write our own programming. Our system performance, and even the physical hardware, is affected by the acceptance or denial of these updates.
Our conscious thoughts are what’s currently under focus, which is similar to applications, and elements under focus on a phone. These programs and processes running tie up system resources. We only have so much processing power at once, so are limited by our bandwidth at times.
Phones also compute things, following a sequence to reach a conclusion. Some programs are running in the background, while others lie dormant. Too much exertion drains energy sources. Heat is generated.
The differences are interesting to consider too, but that’s enough for now. Well, if you’ve read this far, I hope you find it entertaining at least. If you’re a specialist in any of the areas I rummaged around, I hope it was more helpful than harmful.