An Ebrand phone is an individually-evolved generic communications device usually carried by civillians within the Federation. It is a cross between a personal computer and a communications device. Often the devices will come with miniature replicators which allow for quick augmentation with items like physical keyboards or additional sensors.
The term phone survived the twenty-first century by virtue of its association with the overwhelming commercial popularity of smart phones in the early half of the 21st century. The devices were much more static in their characteristics and the transience and easy availability of cheaply made materials in the period made it possible for a crude technological evolution driven by the desires of the majority. This quasidemocratic process of specification update was integral to the practice of capitalism of the time.
In the case of the early phones certain segmented tribes formed around the identification with certain brands. These identifications were dubbed 'brand loyalties.' However with the advent of more pliable materials came a further drive toward individualism in the technologies used by the general public.
As it became less feasible for companies to market a single set of specifications or even an array of ranges of customization the catch phrase "personally evolved brand" came to dominate much of the literature on consumer wants and needs. This term was meant to re-define the notion of a brand as something created by the consumer for him or herself rather than something chosen from among a relatively limited set of choices.
The advent of widely available micro-replicator technology completed the transition.
As the years went by the term "personally evolved brand" was shortened to "evolved brand." Finally the name "e-brand" stuck.
As artificial intelligence and evolutionary computing entered the domain of replicator technologies the notion of a device 'genus' emerged. This was an abstract set of characteristics that come bundled with an ebrand phone requested by an individual. Oftentimes such characteristics are collected through a brief interview with a 'sales clerk' (oftentimes a virtual agent projected through holography, though many real individuals have enthusiastically taken part in the process). Of course many requesting the devices opt to choose from among a series of genera built from commonalities among large segments of the population asking for the same set of characteristics.
On initial purchase the ebrand phone functions rigidly according to the specifications given by the buyer. However over time the device learns from the user's interests and habits and other behaviours. Soon the genus begins to evolve a series of 'species' segmented over time. These species are capable of emerging both in the software and the hardware domain as demand presents itself. Each ebrand phone then comes with a microreplicator allowing for quick alterations of the device's physical structure and capabilities. Advanced self organizing software engineering algorithms also allow the device to update its own software based on user needs.
Emergent Distributed Software Systems
Ebrand devices will often communicate with one another, exchanging information anonymously. This phenomenon allows for crowds of people to unconsciously develop their own 'apps' through phone use. For example, during the Mu Virginis plague millions of search queries for updates on the developing disaster resulted in the evolution of an app called 'plague-chat.' This software system has gone on to become an important part of civillian life on Mu Virginis.
Curated by Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Breeman
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