Here's the inspiration for some of my favorite technology in EMPYRE. Feel free to email me on anything that's not included!
I'm fascinated by how the miniaturization and internalization of technology will impact our lives. Ryan's near total man/machine integration might seem like far future fantasy. I assure you, it isn't. For a great rundown on the latest in such technology, I recommend picking up a copy of Joel Garreau's Radical Evolution.
The weapon used in the barrio scene has its basis in stacked projectile technology, which is available today. Such weapons are electronically fired, the projectiles themselves being stacked head to tail within the barrel itself. As such, there are no moving parts. The technology also allows for an incredibly high rate of fire.
Much of the body armor in EMPYRE comes out of the work being done on Shear Thickening Fluid, which uses nanotechnology to combine strength with flexibility.
There's also a company called d3o that has a new material on the market which stays supple until it's impactedat which point it hardens in less than a thousandth of a second.
The ability to erase memories is fast becoming a reality. The molecular mechanism that maintains memory in the brain has been discovered. Inhibiting this molecule can then erase long-term memories.
THE HOSPITAL AIR SHIP
A new generation of massive dirigibles, like the Aeroscraft, are currently in development. Such ships seemed like the perfect mode of conveyance for a medical facility which could be transported to hot zones around the world.
The concept of using matter/anti-matter collisions to annihilate tumors within the human body is currently in active development by companies like NanoLife Sciences.
EMPYRE'S GEOGRAPHY AND ARCHITECTURE
Of all the locations in EMPYRE, the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul is probably my favorite.
The buildings I have in Dubai are only the tip of the iceberg. Everyday in that city, new developments are announced of a scope that's hard to imagine. I think Dubai will become the next Hong Kong.
The granite cliffs in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica are definitely worth a google. The images are amazing!
ELEVATED CITY CENTER AIRPORT
This idea was inspired by a design for a new airport in Caracas.
Agriculture in an urban, high-rise environment is in development right now. Google "vertical farm" for a look.
AIRPLANE FUSELAGE BUILDING
This idea came from a design for a library in Guadalajara.
80 SOUTH STREET, NYC
This is a design for a New York skyscraper by architect Santiago Calatrava.
I developed the idea of a floating city from several designs that are being developed currently.
The idea of a Singularity impacting the human condition is something that has received a lot of thought. In short, the idea behind the Singularity is that, at some point, our rate of progress will take us to a place where the future can no longer be predicted by the pastwhere humanity enters a new condition. Some think this will be a good thing. Some think it will usher in Armageddon.
In ECHELON, the Singularity was held at bay though information control. In EMPYRE that brake is removed. The rate of progress goes exponential, creating massive uncertainty and fearmuch as we have today. As such, EMPYRE looks at what it might be like to enter the Singularity.