|This article is about the technology. For the show itself, see gen:LOCK.|
gen:LOCK is the eponymous technology of the show and the main catalyst for the series' events.
Gen:LOCK is the process of securely transferring one's consciousness and mind into a Mindframe, which can then be fitted to a Holon to act as a brain for the mech suit. This process allows for much more intuitive control and responsiveness when piloting as if the pilot were moving their own body.
Intended before the war against the Union to be for more peaceful applications. The now militarized gen:LOCK is the product of continuing research and development by Rufus Weller and the Experimental Science Unit. It was rushed into service by the Vanguard with the encouragement of Colonel Raquel Marin in hopes of turning the tide of the Global Culture War against the Union before it is too late.
Julian Chase was the first person identified as gen:LOCK compatible and was therefore considered extremely valuable by officials in both the Vanguard and the Polity as a whole. Julian was rescued after being critically wounded during the Union's hostile takeover of New York, and he agreed to participate in the gen:LOCK program. At the beginning of the program, a copy of Chase's digitized mind was sent into a second Mindframe every time gen:LOCK is established.
Chase was considered ready for missions much earlier than anticipated, and he conducted several successful operations against the Union which made them interested in acquiring the technology. The Union managed to ambush and capture Chase in his Holon, resulting in the creation of Nemesis. Doctor Weller decided to upload the copy of Chase's mind into his human body and discontinue the practice of copying minds.
Doctor Weller considered successfully uploading a human mind into a Mindframe to be phase one of gen:LOCK, while the second phase is Mindshare - the ability of two minds to share information with each other. This allows for sharing sensory information and skills along with perfect coordination of actions. However, users who share minds find their memories and skills bleeding into each other. Their syncing with Kazu Iida gives Valentina Romanyszyn some skill at playing guitar as well as hazy memories of learning how to do so in Japan.
Weller believed gen:LOCK to be the next step in humanity's evolution. Utilizing the technology to be applied in non-militarized ways in the future to expand communications and understanding and can improve the human condition and its potential.
During gen:LOCK, the mind is represented through a Mindscape where the digitized mind can be modified in different ways, such as deleting select memories and changing aspects of personality.
Risks and Compatibility
Due to its rushed development, the tech is very complex and dangerous. Only those with very distinct nervous systems are compatible, and if anyone else attempts to undergo gen:LOCK, they will likely die as Sinclair's impostor does. The basis for compatibility is said to be dependent on a high degree of neuroplasticity; as otherwise lesser nervous systems would be unable to adapt and change to match the change in structure necessary to control the Holon via Mindframe technology.
Because the brain stops regenerating neurons after a certain age, only younger people are currently capable of safely undergoing gen:LOCK. For example, Leon August is gen:LOCK compatible, but due to his age it was deemed too risky for him to get involved.
Potential candidates are screened using Weller's self-coined "Weller Test." Vanguard members were discreetly screened for compatibility during their health checkups, resulting in Chase being deemed an ideal candidate for the program.
Uptime is the term given to the duration in which one is uploaded to their Holon. This duration can be cut down by the amount of time is overclocked, in which the user speeds up their reactions, reflexes, and performance. It can also be reduced by the emotional state of the user, as panic, anxiety, and shock can also reduce the duration of Up-Time and require an emergency download. Uptime was created after three test pilots died after their bodies were disintegrated from overuse.
Remaining uploaded for too long can render the Holon user's brain incompatible with their human brain's neurological wiring. Therefore, the duration of Up-Time must be limited to avoid being permanently stuck within the Mindframe of their Holon. This necessitated the integration of an emergency download feature to avoid such a catastrophic and unwanted outcome.
Unlike the rest of the Holon, the Mindframe cannot be replaced, thus putting the Holon user's mind at risk when synced unless a mind copy is made.
The gen:LOCK recruits, also known as the gen:LOCK Team, are a select few individuals who are compatible with gen:LOCK technology. They work with the Vanguard to further develop the technology and make it compatible with more individuals. The team currently consists of five members:
Rob Sinclair was scheduled to join the project as well, but he was captured by Union forces before he could do so.
- In video editing, the term "genlock", or generator-locking, refers to synchronizing two video sources together.