“We have all evening to chat” said Janet as she took the steaks from Bobby. “Would you prefer the dining room or the kitchen table for supper Gina?”
“A kitchen is less formal. I usually eat at my desk anyway. I only do the formal setting when I’m forced.”
“That’s something we have to change” responded Janet. Bobby was walking back out with a tray as she said “You should come over again Sunday around noon. You can visit with your mother. We have her over every Sunday afternoon. At least one of the kids is usually here as well. It does her good to be with them. And yes, we eat in the big dining room.”
Gina had to admit the meal was excellent. Janet had tossed a fantastic salad and everything was served family style. Some of the banter even made her laugh, but mostly it made her realize her world was imploding. Finally, just as they finished the meal Bobby dropped the nuclear bomb.
“So sis, what is it you desperately needed to talk to me about?”
“Well it’s a work conversation . . .”
“Janet knows everything I know and I know more than you think” came Bobby’s reply. “You can talk in front of her. It’s something you will have to get used to I’m afraid.”
“Oh, I can clear the table if you guys are going to speak geek. All that talk about bits, bytes and diodes really glazes my eyes” Janet volunteered.
“Not that technical of a conversation” Gina recovered. “I’ve been thinking about the skull pads and wondering if we cannot find a way to eliminate the need of them.”
“I’ve been wondering how long it would take you to get there” answered Bobby. “Been working on it for a few months. The short answer is it can be done. The long answer is it isn’t easy and may not work for long. The app has to hack the operating system of each idiot phone, overriding the bluetooth and wifi drivers already on the phone, even tweaking the regular carrier communication signals. To make it really work the phone won’t be able to send or receive while the app is running.”
“We can sell that as a feature. A built in do not disturb mode.”
“Until the vendors lock down their operating systems even further” countered Bobby.
“Can’t you just make another box?” asked Janet. They both turned to look at her. “Give it some additional feature like a built in signal booster and wifi hub so people leave it on all of the time.”
Gina was a bit surprised by the simple suggestion. “We could, but . . .”
“That won’t get her what she really wants” finished Bobby.
“I was thinking that cell and wifi boosters is such a saturated market we would have to sell at a loss to penetrate it. Doable of course but . . .”
“If you made the best one on the market it would sell like hotcakes” responded Janet. “Hell, we’re within ten miles of Silicon Valley and have dead spots in this house. I can’t make a call from downstairs.”
“There is a market for such a thing” continued Bobby “but it would never get Gina what she really needs.”
“The dreams” whispered Janet. Gina’s head snapped up to look at her and she responded “yes, I know. Probably not all of it, but enough. I found some of the sites on the Dark Web. I’ve heard of the new trendy party called Dreamover. Were you aware that just one phone in a room can transmit to all of the skull pads within about a hundred feet?”
“No” said Gina.
“For $20 or less a group of friends can crash in one place and take a wild ride while they sleep. That ‘help me sleep’ function of your app puts them to sleep within minutes. After that they spend the next couple of hours they take a wild ride with no drug induced side effects.” Janet continued “There are even sites out there on the regular Internet posting playlists of the best dream numbers for parties of various types. I can see your problem. As more people become addicted to living via other people’s dreams the pool of new dreams will get shallow. Yes, I said addiction because from what I’ve read that is what it has become. An oddly functional addiction for now. People don’t need to get hits while at work or shred their financial lives making risky buys of questionable substances on the street. Aren’t you worried about becoming a victim of your own success?”
“How so?” queried Gina.