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A collection of systems external to the person, but linked to them in a manner that lets them work cooperatively with the person. They are there to extend and enhance the mind and body. Possibilities could include software agents that process visual and audio information to highlight anything of importance, software agents that access information that is not present in your brain, bringing it to you as you need it, or even perhaps a mechanical "exoskeleton" to protect and enhance the person.

Can also refer to systems that support an uploaded personality, ones that allow them to observe and communicate with the outside world, along with those that let them monitor their own states.

It could even be used to apply to a set of life-support systems that work automatically, providing nutrients, calories, and bodily safety and waste removal, so a person would be able to slip into a virtual reality for long periods of time without having to be concerned with the state of the body during that time.

The term was first coined in "Permutation City" by Greg Egan.

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