The newest time technology is second to none


Published: Friday, January 12, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 11:16 p.m.

In an age of TiVo, podcasting and YouTube, the concept of time is one that's becoming more flexible.

Few things in pop culture require us to watch our watches as they once did. Sure, people will be watching live TV as the early-morning Oscar nominations are announced later this month and when the Super Bowl kicks off in February.

The countdown to the New Year remains the one moment of the year when people simply have to know, down to the second, what time it is — eager to be connected, ever so briefly, with the rest of the world (or at least the rest of the time zone).

It all started us thinking about measuring time, and the larger world of clocks. What kind of clocks keep the best time? How has technology changed, or improved, these most basic of instruments?

And we were surprised by what we found.

Clocks as art

Thermo Projection Clocks

$30-$60, plus international shipping

www.clove.co.uk or www.oregonscientific.co.uk, search for "thermo projection"

These sophisticated projection clocks come from overseas in a wide variety of styles, displaying both time and temperature, changing colors given the weather conditions and even projecting the time on the ceiling.

Customized Leather Clocks

$83.95

www.maverickcreations.com

Numerous, original creations can be found at Maverick Creations, as well as other Web sites, which hide the clock within a larger artistic design. The large leather clock — decorated with real turquoise stones and using conchos as hour markers — seems less like a mechanical instrument than a hanging work of art.

Clocks and weather together

Weather Channel Atomic Wall Clock With Forecast

$49.99

www.amazon.com, search for "weather channel atomic clock"

At first glance, it looks like a run-of-the-mill wall clock, but look closer and you'll find the indoor temperature as well as a Weather Channel forecast. Never get caught without your umbrella again.

Professional Wireless Weather Center

$104.95

www.lacrosse-psmall.com/ws2308ch.html

Now there's really no reason to watch local morning TV weather reports ever again.

Wirelessly connecting the small, handheld device to an array of sensors — wind, rain, temperature and humidity — you can wake up with all the info you will ever need about how to dress. Get the time, temp, wind speed, humidity and barometric pressure all at once, while programming up to 20 different weather alarms, connecting additional displays to the network and uploading the data to your computer.

Your Own Weather Station

$199.95

www.ambientweather.com/wmorscwiprwe.html

The weather console goes one step further with this wireless weather station, which not only allows you to wirelessly access the current weather information from sensors placed outside your home, but helps you in uploading this information online to the Free Weather Exchange, a wider network of personal weather stations.

Clocks on the computer

World Clock ScreenSaver

Free

www.xemico.com/fssb/worldclock/index.html

Download a world clock screen saver that will display the time anywhere in the world — or several different times at once.

Clock and Compass

Suunto Sports GPS Watch

$499

www.ewatches.com, search for "Suunto GPS Watch"

Never get lost. This watch doesn't just have the time but also offers a GPS system, altimeter, barometers and compass. Set your starting point as "home," and this watch will not only record your current location, but help you find your way back.

AtomTime Pro

Free

www.Atomtime.com

By downloading this free, award-winning application, users can connect to the Atomic Clock in Boulder, Colo., and synchronize their computer's clock to the official U.S. time.

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