Whereabouts Clock Set to 'Unreleased'

Microsoft's Whereabouts Clock seems to be missing. According to last reports, it was supposed to be tested and ready for release by late 2006/early 2007.


(Whereabouts Clock from Microsoft)

The clock is a situated display that uses cell phone data to display the general whereabouts of family or business team members.

  • It is intended to be used in a central location where the entire family/group can see it.
  • It is a good example of an "at a glance" display.
  • It is a "private" device - only family/team members can access it.
  • It displays "coarse-grained" information: "at work" or "at school" gives just enough information.
The Whereabouts Clock has been tested in the office at Microsoft. It makes use of automatically transmitted SMS messages to the device from family/team member cell phones.

In a rare instance of admitting prior art, Microsoft states that the idea for the Whereabouts Clock comes from the Harry Potter books. In the stories, the Weasley family has a remarkable clock that shows the location of all family members.


(Weasley family clock from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)

This being a science fiction/science fact site, I don't often quote works of fantasy. However, if Arthur C. Clarke is right in saying that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic..."

Read more about the Whereabouts Clock (pdf).

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/5/2007)

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