Monday, 1 June 2015

Casio Vivcel VCL-101 Trans Biosis

For today's watch, I'm wearing an old Casio model with an unusual, but currently obsolete, additional function.

The watch is from a range of Casio watches called Vivcel. The Vivcel name is moulded at the bottom of the case and is recognizable in the model number starting VCL-. The Vivcel watches were released in 1998 and were designed to complement your mobile phone, showing when it was ringing. It worked on the same style as the keyring phone notification attachments which were popular in the 90s. From my limited understanding, the antenna inside picked up the signal of a nearby phone registering a call (similar to how mobile phones used to interfere with speakers when sat next to them). Once it registered these signals, it gave a signal to the wearer that the phone was ringing, including a vibration option. The downside of this technology is that it didn't connect to a single phone so as mobile phones became more popular, it would inform you if any phone was ringing within range (which could be set between normal and low sensitivity (50cm)). The system also only worked on a single band, and hence stopped being functional as more bands and especially 3G came to prominence.

This particular model is called the VCL-101, and has special text on the strap saying "trans biosis" as well as an equation. I don't know if the text was normal for the VCL-101 or a special edition as the model doesn't seem very common (but many of the one I've seen do have the text). This model was one of the 2nd generation Vivcel as it is classed as an 800MHz Analogue/Digital model which I understand to mean it could pick up two types of signal for the phone calls.

It has a multi-part LCD display with a main row of digits for time, a smaller date above, and a dot matrix display at the top. The dot matrix has a section for the day, as well as a rectangular section where it shows small animations. The animation is mainly a woodpecker (which keeps losing its beak), but has a different animal for the first 10 seconds of each minute (including a bat, a weasel?, an armadillo, a monkey, a kangaroo, and an elephant). I did also manage to swap the woodpecker for a sealion with a ball instead, and it appears that if the woodpecker isn't moving, then that means the signal receiving has been switched off. There is also a small icon in the corner to show mobile phone signal strength.

Inside is a Casio 1974 module (which has often been mistaken for the date on internet posts), which gives a few extra modes, each accompanied by a different animation. The modes are world time (globe and aeroplane), alarm (penguin), timer (no idea...), and stopwatch (lizard). I've also seen a monkey animation when the vibration is going off. There is also an el-backlight which I think reveals a picture of a spaceship, but is difficult to see as the light isn't working properly. The back has the model and module number, and that it is made in Japan, as well as a picture of a robotic looking shark.

No comments:

Post a Comment