Flasheet™: Flasheets™ are thin, portable, very flexible, plasma-based screens which receive their information via satellite and wireless network transmissions. Flasheet™ allows the owner to pick and choose his news topics (Sports, Business, Entertainment), sources (Network 21, People, SportsNet), how often it updates (as news breaks, hourly, daily), and other delivery options, as well as place the information on the screen as he chooses, and more - resulting in a completely customized "newspaper" keyed to the recipient's desire.
Flasheets™ are carried rolled-up like a contemporary newspaper or stored in briefcases; folding them damages the device. Most respond to touch, but cutting-edge models are voice or motion -activated (sometimes in addition to touchscreen). The Flasheet™ delivers only text and graphics, including moving pictures, but no sound. Some newer models are capable of delivering sound, but it is not yet widely-adopted, so there is little content to convey. The major drawback, though, is that they do not retain information - as new information comes in, old data is lost according to the refresh rate for the section, as set by the owner; data cannot be permanently stored (though the user can elect to stop updates to a particular topic or the entire device, essentially "saving" the last article[s] published to it). So long as the article(s), information, or data remains current and available (according to the user's subscription plan) on the server/network, old data can be retrieved indefinitely by search or use of the "Back" navigational arrows in each section. Flasheets™ can also be used to search for information, but this erases the current data in that section.
Most popular books and printed materials have been digitized and are available via Flasheet™ and/or directly through a media module (below). Due to space and memory restrictions, these are usually available by chapter (or similar) and the reader is either charged per section or pays for the entire work when it is purchased.
Rubbing the Flasheet™ with the hand or shaking it completely erases all data and forces the user to rerecord his preferences. Most models have a "lock" to protect against accidental resets. Unless turned off, the device will continue to update according to the user's settings. You cannot neurally interface with a Flasheet™ - that defeats the purpose, anyway - and due to coverage limitations, in some locations you may be forced to directly interface with a HEU to update.
Favored by the intelligentsia and poseurs to the same, Flasheets™ are derided by detractors as mere fashion statements, but many technically-savvy and (arguably) less pretentious users defend them as convenient.
HEU/Media Module: Termed the Home Entertainment Unit (or HEU), this interactive communications device is commonly referred to as a "media module" - after the most popular brand name manufacturer (MediaModule™) - or, even more commonly, as a "Huey." The HEU is a computerized device cube, about the size of a laptop (though as wide as it is thick - @ 2'x2'), which is permanently connected to the Internet, allowing the user complete interaction with all electronic media and content, regardless of medium. He can surf websites, watch movies and television programs, listen to music, communicate with others by text or audio or AV (and more), manage his finances, shop on demand, and more; it is a combination of all available electronic mediums with which we are generally familiar today and makes it all totally interactive.
All content is delivered digitally and most of it costs a minimal fee (not a bother to any but Poor and Destitute characters, but specific items and/or services can be costly). Media modules are available at a reasonable price (again available to all but Poor and Destitute characters) and are publicly available nearly everywhere - convenience stores, shopping centers, street corners, information centers, highway rest areas - basically anywhere a public payphone and/or ATM might be located today.
Home version HEUs can store and retrieve a significant amount of information/content and users can manage online accounts that save information online, so as to be available from any HEU. You can control the content as you wish: talk to (and see) several different people at once (individually or in a group chat); send and receive data files; and so on. All of these operations can be handled simultaneously, in the background or in split-screens and frames. Internet and television channels are no longer separate; surfing to a URL such as network21.com brings up the same content as "changing the channel" to Network 21. In fact, there is no way to separate the two; "changing the channel" and "surfing to the web address" are archaic phrases; you simply "call up," "switch," or "change to" Network 21.
Content for home or personal (portable) -based Hueys is available either free (commercially-sponsored), by subscription, or at individual rates. Content accessed through public HEUs is paid for on a per-use basis - so watching a TV program costs a set amount for every viewing. If you have content stored online, you can access it on a per-use basis, as well.
Everything you experience can be purchased - from the clothes actors wear to the services they use - immediately; if you like a sweater an actor is wearing, you simply touch the screen or say the word and Huey searches for all available retailers, determines the best price for quickest delivery, processes the order, and pays for it from one of your financial accounts (according to your settings, the sponsors of the program, and more). Keyboards, mouses, joysticks, and other external devices are a thing of the past; everything is touchscreen, motion, and/or voice -activated, if the user is not neurally connected. High-end Hueys control the "smart home" - handling the electronic devices (their use of electricity and operations), home alarms, placing orders for groceries, and more. This must be factored into the RC of the Base.
Though the Internet is no longer run primarily by/through the WWW (Web) interface, the Huey is still an entertainment device optimized to retrieve, deliver, store, and transmit entertainment data; you still need an actual computer to perform computer-specific operations, such as (but not limited to) word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Hueys double as communications devices, but again, this is a secondary function and few MediaModules are touted as communications replacements. However, there are models which include communications suites, as well as home control ("smart homes") controls.
Hovercraft: Though very thin, the typical hovercraft is approximately the same size of a contemporary compact car. Most models can carry two passengers comfortably, and larger models can seat up to four; any more than this can cause a wreck as the weight is exceeded and the vehicle tends to "bottom-out" (falling to the ground and destroying the bottom propellers and engines). The craft needs the rest of the vehicle's area for engine, fans, propellers, and other parts. Hovercraft can be controlled neurally.
In operation, it hovers 2 - 3' above any surface on a cushion of air and makes a loud whooshing, whirring noise. It rests on retractable, rubber-footed, metal stands (called "stops") which also function as brakes (though forward motion can be stopped simply by shutting off the back fans, leaving the craft to hover in-place). Some models have wheels on which the craft can be operated as a wheeled vehicle using only the back fans. These fold into the vehicle when the bottom fans are initiated and extend when the operator manually toggles them or the vehicle is turned off. Models with wheels do not include stops. Modifiers for rough terrain are the same as for wheeled vehicles. "Choppy" waters are rough terrain.
Hovercraft look almost exactly like those from Return of the Jedi and Grendel. Most run on electricity (none run on petrol) for up to 8 hours and must be recharged via a special receptacle for 3 hours; if used less than the full 8 hours, recharging takes d3 hours (GMs can roll d6 instead, counting each pip as 1/2 hour or 30 minutes) and recharging for less than three full hours can result in vehicle stoppage at any convenient time (as decreed by GM, Unlucky Disadvantage [p. 127], et.al.). The receptacles are available throughout Megacity and elsewhere - convenience stores, garages, shopping center parking lots (upscale shopping centers have one for each parking space), rest areas, and so on. Some are free, but most require a nominal fee. Most hotels, apartment buildings, and home garages have at least one receptacle. Many of the newer models allow one to remove the battery-like engine to recharge it, thus saving space. Some homes (apartments, et.al.) now have receptacles inside - usually in the basement, washroom/utility closet the engine is about the size of a Huey.
Jet Ski: There are two types of jet ski, each with its own statblock. These stats are for the contemporary jet ski you can find online, in catalogs, and see on display at dealerships, so there is no write-up.
All Champions products are trademark(s) of DOJ, Inc., used by permission. All rights reserved. The HERO SystemTM is DOJ, Inc.'s trademark for its roleplaying system. See www.herogames.com for more information. The HERO System and all associated games, game products, terms, and images are copyright 2003 by DOJ, Inc. All rights reserved. The original material presented here is my own creation, intended for use with the HERO System and/or other products of DOJ, Inc. d/b/a Hero Games. This material is not official, and has not been approved or endorsed by DOJ, Inc.