“Ok! Ok! I get it. You are excited but what exactly does your augmented reality thing do, Mr. Parker?”
“Please, call me Walt. As I was saying, it’s only natural for small animals scurrying about to fear much larger carnivorous ones, right? It’s a universal trait that’s been observed in animal behavior for thousands of years. They are frightened of what could physically overpower them. Mice are afraid of house cats, and house cats are afraid of big canines. Meanwhile most humans are afraid of bears, lions, wolves, tigers, and all the great beasts of prey which roam in the wild. We may be smarter than they are but under a surprise attack, raw power can win out over brawn.”
“Yes, of course Walter, but that doesn’t tell me what this ‘miracle device’ of yours does. Cut to the chase! How can it help mankind? You were pretty sure of this thing over the phone. I can only assume that you need financial backing since you asked me here to your laboratory. If you need investors, spell it out to me plainly. Otherwise I’ll have to be going. I’m a busy man and have a lot of other appointments today.”
Walt Parker was a bit miffed at the attempt to speed up his detailed explanation. He had planned it out ahead of time and felt the build up was absolutely necessary. “Have you ever noticed how ordinary cats and dogs respect our superior size? They will defend themselves against unfair treatment but generally speaking, accept humans as the dominant creatures. They place us on a ‘high pedestal’. This obviously isn’t the case for wild bears, alligators, rhinos, sharks, hippos, and the great cats of the wild. They do not fear us because we are much smaller than they are. My breakthrough technology sends out targeted gamma radio waves which confuses the brain’s normal ability to determine the size of an adversary. It can convince a dangerous wild animal that we are three times our normal size.”
The potential investor struggled to recognize the real-world applications for such a curious, limited use of animal control device. He inquired how technology like that would make for a financially successful partnership. Mr. Parker had several bullet points ready.
“It would allow an ordinary person to pet a grizzly or polar bear just like a cute little puppy! Just as certain small animals ruffle up their feathers or fur to appear formidable against larger enemies, any creature under the influence of this technology would view any other as being much larger than it is. Essentially it’s an ‘artificial respect device’ that could be used in many tactical and safety situations. Hunting, ocean diving, zoo-keeping. Even police and military uses.”
“Even if your augmented reality device works, I’m not seeing the mass commercial appeal of being able to pet polar bears or to hug rhinoceroses. Rhinoceri; however you’d describe a single one.”; He struggled with the confusing tense of the word. “It’s not like the average person would encounter a grizzly bear or hippo in their daily activities, right? Even if you took these exotic animals to the people in traveling fairs, it seems like a novelty idea at best. How would I see a financial return on my investment? Zoos and Menageries are going out of fashion these days. It’s certainly never going to work on people.”
Walt felt the enthusiasm of his captive audience fading fast. He had to focus more on the potential for commercial appeal. He needed a ‘wow factor’ to stun the venture capitalist into being impressed from a monetary standpoint. The investor reached down to stroke the orange tabby that had waltzed into his office during the meeting.
“Don’t let Simba jump into your lap, Mr. Balaban.”; Water warned sternly.
“Why not?”; He asked in mild concern. “Will she claw my pants or get fur on me?”
“Ummm, its more serious than that I’m afraid. She’s actually a full grown Bengal tiger and weighs close to four hundred pounds. She’ll break your legs and flatten the chair.”
The investor looked downward in confusion at the diminutive-looking feline eagerly rubbing against his leg for attention. Walt pointed at a pair of goggles on the coffee table. “Put those on to be shielded from the gamma waves I’m filling my office with but please don’t panic. Tigers can sense fear and will react accordingly. Simba believes she’s only a house cat too.”