Monday, 15 June 2015

Phosphor World Time Sport e-ink watch

I'm off to a technology and innovation event with my work today, so I thought I should wear a watch with a different technology than usual. The last time I blogged a watch by the Phosphor company, I mentioned that they were better known for their e-ink watches, and today I'm blogging one of those.

Phosphor is an American brand with the focus on technology and innovative design. They are owned by Art Technology Inc., who are also American, but there are many different companies with the same name so I've not been able to confirm any more details.

This watch is the World Time Sport, and is one of their newer models of e-ink watch. The main difference with the Phosphor World Time watches is the use of an e-ink screen, which gives a very high contrast display, but uses a minimal amount of power. The e-ink display is made up of a layer of microcapsules, each the width of a human hair, which is printed onto the surface using a special carrier fluid and normal printing techniques. Inside each microcapsule are positively charged white particles and negatively charged black particles, suspended in a clear fluid. As a charge is applied, the particles align with the charge to either bring the white or the black particles to the front surface and show the desired image. As the display only needs to use power to realign the particles, hence only when the display changes, it consumes only enough power for the electronics for the majority of the time.

The World Time Sport model is a plastic version of the first world time watches from Phosphor. It has eliminated the buttons, and instead has two touch sensitive areas below the display which are activated by swiping from that side towards the centre. One of these changes the contrast of display (switching between white on black, and black on white), while the other changes the display type (to one of a handful of different designs: Time + World Time, Time + Calendar, Time large, Time small, and World time only). Changing time is a little complex, and as I have no instruction manual (and there isn't one for this module online), I managed to make it change but I can't be sure how, but I'll add instructions here if I work it out definitively. UPDATE: I seem to have got into the edit mode by holding my fingers on both buttons. Swiping the left button to the right changes the number, while swiping the right button to the left changes what is being edited. The edit mode was stopped by holding the right button. I'm not 100% this is completely correct, so let me know if it works or not!

This particular model in black is the WP001 and is available for $99 from Phosphor.

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