Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

The Future Of Time Was Written In The Past

Timex celebrated its 150th Anniversary this year; part of the festivities included a global design competition to design timepieces that could be expected 150 years into the future. Designers from 72 countries participated.

However, they might have saved themselves some effort by taking a look at some of the timekeeping devices about which science fiction authors have already written. A surprising number of the devices that were chosen as winners have been anticipated in various degrees by science fiction writers.


Alexy Koptev of Russia contributed the stickerwatch. This disposable timepiece comes on a perforated roll, making it easy to tear off a watch and stick it wherever it was needed. The illustration for this device shows it placed on a man's sleeve.

Larry Niven and Stephen Barnes wrote about a sleeve watch in their 1981 collaboration Dream Park. In the novel, the disposable watch used circuitry that was printed on the shirt.


Peter Martins of Portugal designed the Sublimex; this device is worn in the eye like a contact lens where it periodically flashes the time. The information is presented to the brain subliminally; the user is not really conscious of how he or she knows what time it is.

In William Gibson's Neuromancer, one of the characters has a tiny LED chipped into the corner of her visual field, making it easy to tell the time while keeping her hands free.


The O-Ring by Florent of the United States, is a ring worn on the index finger in combination with a stick-on piece on the inner thumb. A holographic clock face is created by a projector in the ring and the reflector worn on the inner thumb.

In his 1951 novel The Puppetmasters, Robert Heinlein referred to a finger watch; this watch is a timepiece built into a ring, with a simple display.

The Timex 2154 Future of Time Competition site also has a number of great concept timepieces found in no science fiction novel; each project is accompanied by graphics to illustrate the concept.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/13/2004)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Lifestyle ")

Amazon Blimp Parent Drone Concept
'So the parent drone carries a spotter that it launches...' - Daniel Suarez, 2012.

Tortoise Mobile Smart Stores
'... all round the city dozens of cars have rented out their trunks, which contain cigars and scotch and stuff.' - Karl Schroeder, 2019.

Sony Pocket Air Conditioner Is Phil Dick's Idea!
'... he went to the hall closet to get his pith helmet and his mandatory cooling-unit.' - Philip K. Dick, 1965.

ROAM Robotics Skiing Exoskeleton
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Prophetic Offers Lucid Dreaming Halo With Morpheus-1 AI
''Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer...'

More Like A Tumblebug Than A Motorcycle
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'

Tesla Camera-Only Vision Predicted In 1930's SF
'By its means, the machine can see.'

First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Aptera Solar EV More Stylish Than Heinlein Steel Tortoise
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
'...the light of the sun had been polarized by two crossed fields so that no radiation could pass.'

Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
'But that space walk of mine wasn't so very amazing.'

ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase
'It was like being inside a balloon; indeed, that was exactly where he was.'

AlphaGarden Robot Cares For Gardens Better Than Humans
'...a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms.'

Let's Make Slaver Sunflowers! Engineering Plants To Reflect Light
'The mirror-blossom was a terrible weapon.'

TeslaBot Uber Driver (2024) And The Automatic Motorist (1911)
'Robots have worse problems than anybody'

DiffuseBot Uses Generative AI To Invent New Soft Robots
'It embodies several small-scale multiple stampers, apparently for dealing with sheet metal.'

Philips Smart Palm Recognition Smart Deadbolt
'A palm lock must be keyed to one individual's hand shape...'

BMind Smart Mirror from Baracoda
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who has the greatest wellness of all?

Ballie Your AI Robot Companion From Samsung
Projects your content anywhere you like.

Holobox? Who Doesn't Want A Home Hologram?
'...there appeared standing upon the disk, the image of a man...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.