UK start-up pitches touch-to-sync tech for watches
NFC moves beyond phones?
Hoptroff, a London-based technology developer, today announced a chip for timepieces that, it claimed, "end the era of ‘dumb’ watches".
Examples of such functionality include the ability to "store personal time-related data, such as the birthdays of spouses and children, local sunset and sundown times, tidal conditions or religious holiday dates".
The technology will let watches "synchronise with other smart devices, so wearers are always on time".
Many readers will already have said to themselves that these things are possible already, without Hoptroff's TimeKiss system.
For example, this reporter would rather synchronise his watch with the world's various radio time siignals than with a smartphone, say. And this I already do using a Casio Waveceptor.
Speaking of Casio, it was one of the first watchmakers to allow you to store and access personal data on a watch, back in the 1980s.
No, what's more interesting about TimeKiss is its near-field communications (NFC) component, which, Hoptroff promises, will swap data "simply [by] holding one TimeKiss device against another".
Says the company: "Data transfer occurs in a few seconds without any need for leads or additional connectors. It can even be used to set the time on clocks in and around the home and automobile."
All this will be possible only after Hoptroff persuades watch and other gadget makers to incorporate its TimeKiss tech into their products.
NFC is set to be added to an increasing range of gadget types in the coming years, phones in particular - Nokia is very keen on the technology, and it's in the Samsung Nexus S. A future iPhone is rumoured to be getting in on the act too.
NFC will primarily be used as the basis for cash- and card-less payment. Which might well be more convenient to do if you can touch the sensor with your wrist rather than digging out your phone every time. ®
Update the old lyrics.
Wave your personal data in the air, like you just don't care!
Lose your cash to the air, like you just don't care!
That's what NFC is for, right? No? Then what else does it do?
"so wearers are always on time"
Unless it knows where you are, ensures you've got your hat and scarf and 10p telephone money and boots you out of the door in time to get to the bus stop I see there being a few other factors that mean this no more ensures you are on time than a PDA.
Stupid marketing claim.
And it's not going to work as described.
To use their won example, you try to "synchronise" to watches... great. So who's the "master" watch and who's the "client"? How do they decide whose timeclock is more accurate?
In other words, there will be a human decision required, which negates the "just touch to sync" as advertised.
solar powered not just digital
I currently have on my wrist a solar powered (eco-drive) analogue watch, tells the time quite nicely thanks. Everything else can be handled by something else as far as i'm concerned.
Already have this technology. It's a Timex Datalink 150, from mid 90's. Just hold it near your computer screen, and click "download" in MS Schedule, Outlook or the special Timex program.
Hey presto your phone numbers and important times/dates (meetings, birthdays, etc.) are downloaded to your watch using near-field communications (optically from the monitor to watch at 1200 baud)
Also includes changable alarm beeps, and one single application (you can write your own or download ones written for the Motorola^H^H^H^H^H Freescale 6805 processor)
It still works very well, although it's now on it's 3rd or 4th battery. Also I need to use a real CRT monitor to program it, but that's OK because the video playback monitor on the PC is CRT :)