Calculator watch


Calculator watch

Calculator watches (watches with a calculator function) appeared in the Mid 1970s introduced by Pulsar and Hewlett Packard. Several watch manufacturers have made CWs over the years, but the Japanese electronics company Casio produced the largest variety of models. Thus, Casio is considered the main player in CWs. In the mid-1980s, Casio created the Data Bank calculator watch, which not only performed calculator functions, but also stored appointments, names, addresses, and phone numbers. Currently, Casio sells only a few "pure" CWs (e.g. CA-53W) and considers a calculator as merely a function on their Data Bank watches. The eData version of its Data Bank watch, featuring the aforementioned storage capabilities, also has greater memory and the ability to store computer passwords.

When mass produced CWs appeared in the early 1980s (with the most being produced in the middle of the decade), the high-tech community's demand created a "feature war" of one-up-manship between watch manufacturers (e.g. the Casio scientific calculator watch CFX-400 in 1985) and were considered fashionable or hip to some people. As an example of CWs as a fashion accessory, in a poster for The Police’s album "Synchronicity", front man Sting can be seen with his arms folded, proudly sporting a black plastic Casio calculator watch. However, as the novelty of this new electronic fad watch wore off, they became, much like pocket protectors and thick glasses, associated with nerds and today are no longer considered to be in vogue. Depictions of CWs in today’s media abound, but with no single type of wearer. For example, Al, the seemingly normal middle-aged pilot in the Tom Hanks film "Cast Away" is seen wearing one as he’s pouring a cup of coffee right before the crash scene. As a homage to this stereotype, Dwight Schrute, playing the annoying and nerdy character on NBC's "The Office", can be seen wearing a Casio Data Bank watch. Current users of calculator watches are more common among the trades and technical fields.

The future of the calculator watch as a practical and useful electronic device has been impacted by the introduction of PDAs, cell phones, and other powerful multi-functional compact computing devices. Another technical drawbacks facing digital watches are their small monochromatic LCD displays and hard-to-use miniature buttons. Both of these input/output bottlenecks further alienate CWs from multimedia applications. On the other hand, one could also argue that advances in electronics, RFID, and voice recognition could result in several qualities of the PDAs, cell phones, and other powerful and compact computing devices being incorporated into a watch format -- a Wrist PDA or more complex wearable computer -- just as the Data Bank absorbed the calculator function, TV controller, and camera in some CW models. PCOnHand.com offered a PC/PDA/calculator wrist watch but, as of April 07, 2006 has ceased selling this device.

External links

* [http://www.pocketcalculatorshow.com/nerdwatch/ Calculator watch on-line museum]
* [http://www.PCOnHand.com/ Computer and Calculator watch]
* [http://www.ledwatches.net/ LED Watches online - includes Pulsar, HP, National Semiconductor, and other early calculator watch photos]
* [http://www.calcwatch.com/ Build your own scientific calculator watch]


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