Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Pager Watch (Analog)

Ultramodern Technology in dubiouly useful classic packaging
  [vote for,

Wristwatches that function as pagers are a technology about 2 years old at this point that is _almost_ practical. Part of the problem is that they're all very geeky. What if one could have a pager that was mroe "classic" in it's stylings? What's more classic than a standard analog face?

Displaying a page on a normal clockfae can be tough, but what comes to mind is winding the hands back and forth. You could use one hand (for specificity, lets assume the minutes hand) to sweep back and forth and indicate 1 digit of the page every second-and-a-half. The other hand (hours) would move only when switching between pages, and let you know _which_ number was being displayed from memory. During the display of a page, the third (seconds) hand would remain stationary to show that this was not the time being shown.

Making a prototype watch as a hobbyist would be difficult, but a pager-clock is probably doable if you can find a set of clock-gearing that drives the various hands with seperate motors. You would need some sort of processor (a PIC or microcontroller would have power aplenty) and some sort of POSCAG (pager format) interpreter chip. The pager-clock would also be about 500 million times more halfbaked. (a billion times less baked?)

bear, Aug 08 2001

Cooke-Wheatstone telegraph http://www.fht-essl...ehistory/1840-.html
(look for big picture near bottom). One of the earliest telegraphs; used needles that would point to the selected letter on a diamond-shaped grid. Should be easy to miniaturize. [rmutt, Aug 08 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Semaphore Flag Signaling System http://www.anbg.gov...lags/semaphore.html
Would be wonderfully flappy, too. [StarChaser, Aug 08 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

For [bear] http://www.media.mi...OMTOUCH/ct12301.htm
Here's one reference that I found. [angel, Aug 08 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       My Accurist watch has five motors to drive the hands as well as at least one microprocessor to control them, so it's possible. I picture this as looking like a wrist-mounted ouija board (or is that another new idea?).
angel, Aug 08 2001

       ooooh, wrist-mounted ouija board... Yeah, that's a new idea that you should post.   

       The motion of the hands would be spooky, but sensical. If you're ever seen one of those nice wristwatches that automatically adjusts to the local timezone as your travel around, you know what I mean. The watches hands move independently around to adjust to the local time - it's neat if you can catch them doing it, but otherwise unnoticable.   

       With the pager, you would have each hand indicate a different kind of information (as described). You would probably need atleast 3 motors to drive this little thing, or 2 and something to unlink the seconds hand during page display...   

       I just like the idea of a nice swiss wristwatch being an information device for the subtle.
bear, Aug 08 2001

       Naval semaphore would be perfect for this. Normally done with two flags, one in each hand, with five positions for each hand. A link above.
StarChaser, Aug 11 2001

       Ooo, I like the semaphore addition too.
wiml, Aug 13 2001

       Aside from the fact that it would be a pain in the ass to learn semaphone - this is a really neat interface idea for the pager watch. If I were developing an analog watch/alphanumeric pager for the blind - this would be the way to do it.   

       oooh - braile pagers. I did a search for this but didn't find any pagers that would give off a raised braille display of incoming messages.
bear, Aug 16 2001

       Since I'm not one of the Tragically Connected, the fact that no real useful information came out of the watch wouldn't bother me. I'd probably page myself occasionally just to see it go off.   

       I think it's a better interface than the original idea...   

       <later edited from '...out of the watch would bother me...' to '...wouldn't...'. Oops...>
StarChaser, Aug 17 2001, last modified Aug 18 2001

       the story "northern lights" (or "the golden compass" in the US) by philip pullman has a device in it called an alethiometer. it looks like a big compass, but it has about 20-30 symbols around the outside of the dial, each of which has a number of meanings, e.g. a dolphin means dolphin, or sea, or playfulness, or swimming. you set the 3 main hands to the various symbols, in order to pose a question; then the 4th hand jumps about like a maniac, pointing to the different symbols that make up the answer to the question. you have to be in a trance to read it.   

       there you go, a wrist-mounted ouija board - all you need is a miniaturised alethiometer.
baldrick, Sep 13 2002

       "Aldis" pager watch ? Flashes the number at you in Morse Code ? Polished brass case, mahogany dial, polished ebony hands, filament bulb for a light source; all powered by a polished copper Leclanche cell you tow behind you on a trolley .....
8th of 7, Sep 13 2002


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