About The Commplant

The commplant is the most common type of personal communications device in the universe of The Vanguard. They are the universe’s version of smartphones, and fulfill all the same functions and then some, only instead of being carried outside the body, they are implanted inside the body, integrated into a biont’s (biological sapient’s) brain and central nervous system.

Basic Functions

They connect a sophont directly to the local network via radio signals. They have considerable processor capacity capable of computation and storage at levels far exceeding 21st-century PCs – users can play games and enjoy visual and audio entertainment as well as send and receive messages containing visual and audio data. For accessing visual data, the implant sends images directly to the brain’s visual cortex. Audio data is sent directly to the brain’s auditory cortex. For “speaking” the commplant taps directly into the brain’s speech and language centers as well as the nerves controlling speech to interpret and broadcast what a user wishes to say. With this capability a user is capable of having a private conversation with someone only they can see or hear, though others can be linked in to the conversation if desired. A user with a commplant can use themselves as a biological camera and microphone, taking in sound and images (still or motion) through their own eyes and ears and storing the resulting data on their commplant’s processor/memory substrate.

Pain management is one of the basic medical functions of commplants. A commplant can automatically block debilitating pain impulses arriving to the brain, and can be consciously used to block minor pain impulses (like those coming from a headache, for example).

Optional Functions

One of the most common optional functions of a commplant is a interpreter function that translates any spoken or written language (and even many non-spoken languages, like signing and color patterns) into one the user is familiar with, making it a kind of Universal Translator. Another common option is to facilitate “speed learning” where knowledge of a subject is “downloaded” directly into the user’s brain. A commplant is not required for this, but it does make the process of integrating the knowledge into the brain faster and smoother, bringing total comprehension of a subject in hours or days versus weeks or months via traditional methods of learning. If the sophont with a commplant also has a medical nanosystem implanted, the commplant will have medical expert systems downloaded to it to oversee and control the activites of the nanosystem as it stops infectious agents and repairs injuries to the sophont’s body. This is far from a comprehensive list, there are many other things commplant users can do with suitable modifications, usually software-based.


The method of installing commplants varies between cultures, races and polities. Methods include injection, infusion, oral pill or inhaler devices. Whatever the method, it introduces specially designed and programmed nanobots that migrate to the central nervous system and build the commplant from proteins and other materials within the sophont’s body. Valourans are one of the sophonts born with commplants, however the genetic modifications for this can be adapted to other sophont races.

Acceptance and Alternatives

The commplant renders other personal comm devices obsolete, and is widely used by the overwhelming majority of sophonts (and is endemic in cyborgs and mioids – sophont robots), but it is not universally accepted. Some bionts are not comfortable having a comm device implanted in their heads for various reasons, and some have central nervous systems that are unable to integrate with an artificially implanted device. These beings instead use other personal comm devices such as earbuds or other wearable devices made in the form of jewelry or integrated into items of clothing, controlled by voice command. Other more traditionally-minded sophonts (or from civilizations of lower tech levels) may use hand-held comm devices of various forms and shapes.