Active Matrix EPD! Wow, did it fall from the Starfleet?

No, it’s from Seiko but its right place would have been onboard the Starfleet. For anything that’s first of its kind, geeky and gadgety – to us, the ’70s-born crowd – bore the invisible Star-Trek mark. The Seiko Solar Radio Worldtime Active Matrics EPD is no exception. Getting one during my teen-years could have helped me fetch the high-school hotties more than Tom Cruise himself.

SEIKO introduced the world’s first EPD (Electrophoretic Display, a higher form of the electronic-ink technology based on millions of tiny microcapsules, either charged negatively or positively, suspended in clear fluid. A negative electric field is all that’s needed to get them arranged) watch based on an active matrix system almost three years back (December 2010), yet it didn’t create the sensation it would have if released three decades back. The interest chiefly came from watch enthusiasts, industry experts and journalists; casual wearers were (and are) mostly unaware of its existence.

But that’s something highly unlikely. I have no other option than thinking the world has gone 90% blind; else, missing out on its innovative (read: very detailed), clear and high-resolution (300 dpi) graphics and that wide viewing angle is highly impossible. Being blind to the future, well, is the recipe for total blunder.

Now, let’s see what makes the Seiko Solar Radio World Active Matrics EPD. It unleashes the full potential of quartz timekeeping through optimum levels of accuracy and a clean energy (solar) source. That itself is an enough futuristic concept and though radio-controlled took a nosedive after reaching its dime-a-dozen status, the Seiko Solar Radio Worldtime Active Matrics EPD revives  the concept again, and with full élan. This time, it is accurate to +1 second in every 30 million years.

But the cherry on the cream is an entirely new display system that can run on the fully-charged power source for 270 days at a stretch. Thanks to the energy-efficient IC and that’s just a fraction of other hi-tech electronics! The usual sleep mode is there, activated after 72 hours in complete darkness, though it counts the hours, minutes and seconds internally and continues doing that for 36 months. Press any button or take it out in the light, the face turns bright again. All that’s left is choosing from any of the five display options; from very serious to very peppy.

The Seiko Solar Radio Worldtime Active Matrics EPD shows the time from 32 cities (also daylight saving time) all around the world and also the time difference from UTC (Greenwich Mean Time updated with leap seconds). With the option of selecting a second local time, it is truly a watch that lives up to the expectations of the new millennium that will keep serving you till 2060. That means, it is meant to be passed on to your next generation when they graduate.