In 2010, the makers of Swiss Army knives introduced a new model for the digital age: the Presentation Master. To help you dominate PowerPoint presentations on the battlefields of corporate warfare, the knife's fold-out tools included a laser pointer, a Bluetooth remote control for changing slides, and a USB thumb drive. I need it. This is an amazing cyberpunk PC peripheral, and a rare product targetted at megacorp middle-managers rather the leather-clad rabble of hackers, scavs, and street samurai. I need it so much.
Most of our readers, I understand, already live their lives like cool cyberpunk outsiders. Every time you leave your habitation cube, your cool leather jacket sags with your 'everyday carry': lockpicks; mirrorshades (plus spare pair); monocular; satellite phone; phreaking blue box; assorted scanners (fingerprint, police radio, retinal, WiFi, etc); voice changer; soldering iron; fake passports; £3000 in international currencies; 60 metres of paracord braided into a bullwhip for storage and utility; Bitcoin hidden in your sock; butterfly knife; and three Leatherman multi-tools. You're living tomorrow, today, and I'm happy for you. But won't someone think of The Man?
Introduced in 2010, the Victorinox Presentation Master knife had every tool a megacorp drone needs in their daily life:
- Blade, for cutting the torn film of a meal deal salad
- Nail file, to make a strong first impression with an attractive and safe handshake
- USB flash drive, packing 8, 16, or 32 gigabytes of storage secured by a fingerprint scanner
- Laser pointer, for pointing
- Cool hazard sticker warning of the Class 2 laser
- Two-button Bluetooth controller, to master your presentation
- Pen, for unnervingly writing on a clipboard while someone speaks
- Scissors, to cut loose threads from your sharp suit
- Keyring attachment point, to clip onto your knife chain or BlackBerry holster
Perfect. A perfectly optimised device. Not a gram wasted. As the world's preeminent author of cyberpunk young adult fiction about saving the world with NFTs, I ache to use a Presentation Master.
It also came in 'Flight' variants which met aeroplane security rules by ditching the blade, file, and scissors. You could whip out a pitch deck anywhere you might meet prospective clients or investors, even mid-air on the red-eye. Now that's what I call megacorpin'.
It cuts me up that Victorinox discontinued this knife a decade before I even knew it existed. They do still make business knives blessed with amazing names, like the Midnite Manager@work (tagline: "To accompany you on every step of the digital road"). But that knife replaces the Presentation Master's laser pointer with an LED torch, and doesn't have any PowerPoint control buttons at all. What's the use of a business knife if I can't brandish it to highlight a bar chart of Q3 profits from across the boardroom?
The Midnite Manager@work is a knife for fakers. People who cosplay as megacorp business drones, who wear a pleather pocket square but wuss out of tattoing their palm with a QR code pointing to their LinkedIn page. Posers. It's an affront to real cyberpunks like me.
Should the Deus Ex reboot continue, I think Adam Jensen's inevitable next hardware wipe should see him rebuilt as the desk jockey a security chief would be. Knifearms are overkill, only useful in the rare event of the paper trimmer breaking, so I suggest scissorfingers. Two shimmering blue non-eutactic blades would pop out between index and middle fingers, operated with a snipping gesture. He should use his Social Enhancer implant to precisely calibrate cyberarm handshake pressure to each shakee's strength and expectations. Even better, he should have an embedded USB power bank to force networking opportunities as people stand near him to charge their phones. And one of his eyes should be a projector to show PowerPoint decks, and one finger a laser pointer—just mind those eggheads in the lab don't make it powerful enough to cut through projector screens (or padlocks, flesh, etc).