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Displays HP Portables The Military Hardware

HP Making a Dick Tracy Watch For the Military 66

eldavojohn writes "HP announced a device like Dick Tracy's watch, with a target user base being the US military. CNN describes it as 'a flexible display that shows maps and other strategic information to soldiers in remote combat fields. The watch's screen will be made of plastic and it will run on solar energy, making it less likely to malfunction or run out of power in a tense scenario.' HP says a prototype will be done within a year. This new device hinges on recent display technology that HP says it has been developing for 10 years. The flexible displays are a mere 50 microns thick."
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HP Making a Dick Tracy Watch For the Military

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  • At least... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    At least our yearn to kill each other produces some pretty cool toys every few years.

    • by aliquis ( 678370 )

      At least our yearn to kill each other produces some pretty cool toys every few years.

      Now if only we could choose the signal used ...


  • Was Dick Tracy's watch more like Dick Tracy's sleeve? If it's anything like the dimensions of the watch I've got on my left wrist right now, it won't be able to show you anything but the time.
  • What is flat top doing with my watch?
  • And then realized that there was really no more to the linked article than what was in the summary. Are there any better links?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Well, from TFA i understood that so far, they only have a flexible screen.
      Plastic screens on a watch are a horrible idea. They scratch much more easily than glass ones.

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @08:10AM (#32277192) Homepage

    Why don't they call it a Turanga Leela Wrist-Kejigger?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Now, I'm Prune Tracy! Take that, D..............
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 )
      The man who's job it is to suggest names for new inventions based on pop culture references unfortunately got the career chip for the job of suggesting names for new inventions based upon pop culture references from half a century ago.

      After all, "You gotta do what you gotta do."
    • by Terwin ( 412356 )

      Because a lot more people who wanted a Dick Tracy Watch as a kid could afford this than people who wanted a Leela wrist device as a kid.

      It is all about marketing to the audience who both wants to buy it and can afford to buy it.

  • Display (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Thyamine ( 531612 )
    That's great and all, but how useful can a display of that size be? Even if they make it like one of those watches with the huge faces, it'll still be tiny for looking at maps or trying to read much info.
    • It's okay - it'll be a touch-screen display, so you can use your fingers to zoom in and out and to scroll. Give it a day and you'll wonder how you ever did without all of the zooming and scrolling just to see useful stuff!

    • They don't seem to say what size it is. I assume it's larger than an actual Dick Tracy watch, and they simply didn't want to call it a Bracelet Phone for obvious reasons.

    • There should be enough space for 1-way communication (e.g. Command sending coordinates, descriptions of targets, orders, etc)

  • Woah! (Score:3, Funny)

    by bgarcia ( 33222 ) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @08:27AM (#32277280) Homepage Journal
    Big Fucking Watch.
  • Since they seem to spend so much time in the desert, this should work out fine.

  • It's got that laser that can burn through steel and trigger detonators and stuff. Maps??? How boring.
  • by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:10AM (#32277692)

    When HP took over EDS, it got the contract for the NMCI [], possibly the biggest cluster-fuck in DoD history according to my Navy friends.

    I wouldn't trust HP to supply soldiers with a working Timex, let alone something with telecommunications abilities.

  • by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:29AM (#32277940) Homepage Journal

    The "Dick Tracy watch" from the comics (and movie) is a two-way video phone. This isn't a Dick Tracy watch.

  • In 1997, I saw Al Gross [] talk at the Vehicular Technology Conference about his history in designing portable radios. He claimed that Dick Tracy author Chester Gould [] got the idea for the wrist radio from an actual prototype that he had been building (following on from his successful radio designs for the military). It's a very long feedback loop.

  • This is sounding more like the watch Dick Tracy's kid or grandkid would wear one day with all those data capabilities. More Dick Tracyesque voice only 2-way radio watches have been available for a while now. I remember seeing a 2-meter transceiver built into a watch in the late 90s. I wish I knew who built/sold it. The place I saw it is out of business now. There are also plenty of FRS wristwatches on EBay.
  • A U.S. Department of Defense spokeswoman said she was not familiar with the project, so it's unclear exactly how the watch would be used by the military.

    Okay, I didn't go to journalist school, but shouldn't this person have just been crossed off the list and ignored?

    We have until 2077 to finish the Pip-Boys before the world ends though, right? Looks like we're on track. I just hope they remember the bomb screensaver this time. I real reporter would have pointed this out.

  • Where are you, "Doc" Smith?

  • As someone posted before, the sun isn't always shining. But most of the soldiers using them will be moving around.
  • Until night comes around...
  • How well (if at all) will a touch interface work on a flexible screen?

    All this talk about roll up screens and such, but imagine trying to use your iPhone if it was a piece of paper. And its not laying flat on a hard surface.

  • My question: what if that tense scenario is that you are likely to be eaten by a grue?

If you suspect a man, don't employ him.