24 April 2012

World’s First GPS Solar Watch

At last, the search for precise time, anywhere on the planet, is over. Featuring a new low-energy-consumption GPS receiver made by Epson, Seiko has introduced the Astron GPS Solar: the world’s first GPS solar watch that can receive GPS signals and identify time zone, time, and date data using the global network of GPS satellites.
Named after its celebrated 1969 predecessor, which was the world’s first quartz watch, the new Seiko Astron was developed under the supervision of Seiko Epson Corporation, and ushers in a new age of timekeeping technology. Global release is expected this autumn.

How it works
Once a day, the Seiko Astron GPS Solar receives the time signal automatically and, on demand, connects to four or more of the GPS satellites that orbit the earth, thus pinpointing its position and identifying the time zone and the exact time. The hands adjust automatically to the correct local time with atomic clock precision.  When you step off a plane, just press the button and the time and time zone will adjust automatically. Self-correction takes approximately six seconds for the time and about 30 seconds for the time zone. So, if you can see the sky, you will know the time.
The adjustment to or from Daylight Saving Time is also a one-touch operation, and the date is always exact -- Seiko Astron GPS Solar’s perpetual calendar is correct until February, 2100. The ease of use is further enhanced by Seiko’s solar technology, which ensures that maintenance is never an issue. The watch takes power from all kinds of light and never needs a battery change.
A beauty with brains
The Seiko Astron GPS Solar is not just a watch. It’s already a collection. There are three models in high-intensity titanium, which is stronger than stainless steel but has only 60% of its weight, and two in stainless steel. All have ceramic bezels, the same functions and high specifications, including a dual time sub-dial, in-flight mode indicator, and sapphire crystal with Super-Clear Coating.
The elegance and legibility of the dials disguise the richness of the information that can be displayed. In addition to the traditional date and dual time displays, the status of the GPS signal is indicated by the second hand and indicator at 10 o’clock position when the appropriate button is pressed. At a glance, you see whether a GPS signal has been received, and from how many satellites and whether Daylight Saving Time is activated.

Why now and why Seiko?
To combine Seiko’s solar technology with GPS required years of painstaking and ground-breaking R&D by Seiko Epson Corporation, which has resulted in no less than 100 patent applications. Only Seiko’s advanced energy-efficiency technology could invent the miniature GPS receiver that requires so little energy to receive GPS signals from four or more satellites. Only Seiko’s unrivalled skills in micro-engineering could package this technology into a watch that is just 47 mm in diameter and weighs about 135 grams (with high intensity titanium case and bracelet). And only Seiko’s advanced IC circuitry expertise could make it possible for the watch to divide the world into one million ‘squares’ and allocate a time zone to each.




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