ICS (sometimes I.C.S. or ICSed) is short for ‘Internal Communication System’ (variously ‘Inter Connect System’ etc.) which is a small mechanical implant that allows people to communicate through their minds in a way that is vaguely reminiscent of telepathic conversation. ICS is a derived Aelishan technology that goes hand in hand with nanities and is essentially a highly customizable communication suite that is the future equivalent of e-mail, instant messenger, video/audio sharing and can even capture feelings to share with the intended recipient.
At its most basic, one person’s ICS can talk to another if they both have their number, and conversation is either real-time or can be left as a message. Normally it comes with a personal animated ‘avatar’ of the person in a chibi-like style, complete with exaggerated movements based on the conversation but this can be changed easily.
Among other features is the ability to stream real-time events to someone else, both this and normal talking take place on a vague conscious level. Many people when ‘watching’ a video upload close their eyes to help concentrate on the image they are ‘seeing’ in their brain.
An individual’s ICS can communicate over short distances but most rely on relays whether its from planets or ships, thus in some hostile environments ICS is reduced to very short distances.
The system is easily customizable allowing private, group and selected individuals in the conversation. As an example, famous individuals like Star Priestesses maintain a public communication, as well as a private so that they are not flooded when they merely want to talk to their friends.
Despite being in every way superior to modern communication, people still prefer actual talking when possible due to numerous studies of subject disengagement and mental atrophy dealing with digital mediums during the twilight years of humanity before the Aelisha stepped in.
Trivia: In VayneLine Eirik, Billy and Gauge have a discussion where they see one person clearly addicted to technology and messaging, and they think back to the earlier days (our current time) where people were addicted to messaging without purpose that no one had very many real friends or knew how to actually talk.