Smartstuff
General term for "smart" packing materials.

Many products in economies where matter compilers and genie machines are not ubiquitous are shipped, and this requires packing material to protect sensitive objects. Most nanofactured objects are nanofactured together with the packing material, which in general adapts to the environment in suitable ways.

For easy disposal most smartstuff dissolves when given a chemical or software key, turning into carbon dioxide and nanodust. However, the limited environmental sensitivity and self-assembling abilities of smartstuff makes it a popular toy among children. They construct structures out of smartstuff, using suitable geometries and types of units to create semi-interactive "stuffies". In many places thriving local nanofactures make extra pieces of smarterstuff, intended to interface with the smartstuff of give it extra abilities. Although playing with smartstuff is often seen as an almost clichéd expression of poverty, many artists have explored the potential of smartstuff in various forms of art; the most famous smartstuff artwork might be the burning disk-bearer of Aptica Lunghaiam (Murmolyss collections).
 
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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg

Initially published on 31 December 2001.