Hoptroff Ltd., a silicon foundry that designs and patents electronic watch movements for ‘future classic’ timepieces, is developing technology that could lead to the creation of an atomic smartwatch. Based upon Symmetricom’s SA.45s CSAC chip scale atomic clock, Hoptroff is planning to release a wrist-borne atomic watch to the affluent public later this year.
Personal time pieces that match atomic clock accuracy are common. However, such devices generally employ a mirroring scheme whereby they sync their less accurate internal chronometers with an actual atomic clock via wireless radio signal or through the internet. Symmetricom’s technology places an actual atomic clock right on the user’s wrist. Is such a complicated device necessary when the same result can be achieved through less complicated synching technology? Not really. However, it sure is a great conversation starter. And, should global communications ever be disrupted, you can remain comfortable in the knowledge that you will be right on time for the coming zombie apocalypse.
Hoptroff’s Number 10 Atomic Watch will be based upon Symmetricom’s diminutive caesium gas chamber, contained inside a temperature controlled oven-on-a-chip. Excitation of the RADIOACTIVE caesium atoms within the oven will be achieved by an onboard internal laser. That’s right … purchasers will receive the privilege of having a laser-based nuclear device strapped right to their arm. Still want one? The technology employed by the chip was developed in cooperation with the US Department of Defense for use in cruise missiles and ariel drones where precise navigation is imperative.
Hoptroff’s watch will be designed for marine applications and will exhibit a number of formidable complications. When combined with a sextant, a set of sight reduction tables, and a few hundred hours of celestial navigation practice, the precision instrument will allow the wearer to determine his position anywhere on the planet to within 100 meters. Or, if all else fails, you can look just at your GPS.
At an expected 82mm in diameter and 25mm thick, the time piece will be rather large. However, such bulk should only serve to amplify the curiosity of casual admirers. And how much will such cutting edge technology set you back? A cool $78,000 … or you can wait 10 years and buy it for $100 when the technology has been perfected, miniaturized, and stamped onto the circuit board of mainstream smartwatches as an afterthought. Necessary or not, the technology is impressive. And, as the natural cycle of evolutionary improvement unfolds, it will be interesting to see how quickly and extensively the smartwatch industry integrates such technology into future offerings. In the mean time, 12 lucky individuals will never again have an excuse to be late.
Hoptroff Ltd.: [Company Website]