Citizen unveils earthquake warning concept watch
Japan is a country that is extremely prone to earthquakes, so it is no wonder that Citizen of Japan recently paraded its innovative earthquake warning concept watch at the CEATEC Japan 2007 event. It was developed in part with Rhythm Watch, bringing together an Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) receiver and an analog watch. This Seismic watch works like any other timepiece that you purchase from a store, but upon receiving a signal from the EEW, it will cause the hour hand to speed up based on the seismic intensity estimation, whereas both the minute and second hands will give the countdown time to the earthquake’s arrival. Sounds great and will definitely be a life saver for most people. Imagine making this a compulsory item to have for every person in Japan – Citizen’s executives will definitely be laughing all the way to the bank.
Other than a visual clue, the wearer of this concept watch will also receive an audible alarm as well as vibration cues thanks to the built-in vibrator. At this point in time, the EEW capability is made available only in Japan since it relies on announcements from Japan’s Meteorological Office. These announcements are crucial, since they provide subscribers with advance announcements regarding the arrival time, epicenter and magnitude of impending earthquakes based on data collected from stations located at around 1,000 locations all over the country.
At this point in time, Citizen is working on a way to utilize public radio wave that is currently being used by 1Seg broadcasting to receive EEW data. Implementation of such a system will enable reception of the EEW outside and over a much larger area compared to other EEW watches that take a different route, using specified low power radio waves or Bluetooth connectivity instead. Not only that, Citizen claims that its watch can provide a more instant notification compared to cellphone alarm systems that receive alerts via email. Currently, this prototype watch is available in a men’s model due to its much larger size requirements, with work being carried out to shrink those components for a women’s model being built. A 2010 release data has been targeted, accompanied by a $170 price tag.