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Celebrate Blade Runner Month With Practical Gear To Live Out Your Cyberpunk Lifestyle

Graphic: Eric Ravenscraft

It’s finally November 2019. You know what that means. We’ve finally arrived in the future that Blade Runner predicted. It’s a time when tech megacorporations wield nearly unfettered power to influence everything from the buying habits to the living, breathing reality of simulated humans. To survive in this post-apocalypse, you can’t just be smart on the street. You have to be savvy online. This gear can help.

Graphic: Eric Ravenscraft

You’re going to be carrying gadgets that all need power. A spare battery (or three) is all you need to keep all your devices topped up. While there are plenty of batteries out there, this model from Heloideo comes with a built in power plug, and USB-C, Lightning, and micro USB cables all built in. The more you can consolidate your devices, the more you can carry. Which is handy when you need to travel light.

Graphic: Eric Ravenscraft

One of the best ways to protect any account you have is by using a combination of something you know (a password), as well as something you have. Most people can use two factor codes on their phones for the latter, but the safest option will be to use a physical key like the Yubikey. This little gadget can go on your keychain, and uses USB or NFC to prove you’re you and unlock your account.

Graphic: Eric Ravenscraft

As facial recognition software—like the kind Amazon is developing and selling to police departments—becomes more mature, becoming anonymous in public becomes a valuable skill for a cyberpunk survivor. Brooklyn artist Adam Harvey has experimented with makeup and hairstyles that can confuse facial recognition cameras. While you might not be able to run to the stylist every time you need to run data for the resistance, a simple palette of colors that contrast with your natural face tones can be just what you need to stay off the grid.

Photo: Amazon

When you need to pass out information for your secret underground hacker hideout in a way that’s not obvious to the agents of the corporation, NFC tags can be a surreptitious way to spread information. These programmable tags can be loaded with URLs, geolocations, text messages, or other small bits of data. Stick them under bus stop benches, behind otherwise innocuous band stickers on mail boxes, or, you know, just use them to share your Wi-Fi with house guests.

Graphic: Eric Ravenscraft

Yes, a portable Nintendo console is fun. But with a little hacking magic, you can turn it into a portable Linux device that you can use to do most things you can do on a desktop. Except, if you get apprehended by the authorities that have been paid off by the corporation, it will look like a harmless game console. Also you can play games on it.

It’s weird we ended up in a world where owning a Nintendo console could feasibly count as cyberpunk, but here we are.

Graphic: Eric Ravenscraft

When running data across town, you might find yourself carrying tons of gadgets, from portable batteries to tons of USB keys. You’ll need a way to carry them all without looking like you’re carrying them all. A coat with plenty of hidden pockets will do the job. If you need a little extra external storage, a drop leg bag can carry some of your stuff without dragging you down. Plus you look rad. Looking rad is an important part of living the cyberpunk lifestyle.


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About the author

Eric Ravenscraft

Freelance writer for The Inventory.