This is one of my favorite bits of digital technology: A Casio Pathfinder wrist watch. What’s so cool about a watch you ask? They’re SOOO 20th Century!
Well this one is also an altimeter, barometer, compass and thermometer. It’s also a stop watch, alarm clock and just plain old watch.
But none of that is what makes it cool.
What makes this piece of tech one of my favorites is that it isn’t tethered to anything; it’s one of the few pieces of digital technology that I own that is entirely self-contained, and that’s somewhere that I want all my hardware to go.
This watch is fantastically accurate, but what makes it even better is that it picks up a signal and keeps itself atomically accurate. It’s a watch that never has to be set.
It’s also a watch that never has to be wound or have the battery replaced. The face is also a solar panel that recovers enough charge out of even a well lit room to recharge itself.
On top of all that, it’s virtually indestructible. It’s encased in a rugged body that can withstand a car driving over it, it’s freeze proof to well below zero, waterproof to diving depths and probably bullet proof as well.
|Fragile energy vampire!|
What I’ve got here is a tough, self-reliant piece of technology that always works no matter where I am. When I look at my choices for computers, tablets or even smartphones, I’m looking at fragile, energy vampires that are lucky to work a day in regular use without the need to draw from a socket.
Faster is nice, but I’m also looking for tough and self contained. Until I can lay in the bath with my e-reader or turn to my phone without seeing red low battery warning lights, the digital tech isn’t nearly as tough and self contained as I need it to be.
The edtech question to ask is should we be putting fragile tech into the slippery hands of teens and children? The repair/replacement rate of these fragile little digital flowers are going to be much higher than they are in the steadier hands of adults.
Until digital tech is as tough as the analog it’s replacing, it’s an edgy proposition to push it as the main focus in instructional tools.
In the meantime, Casio keeps evolving the tough tech. Soon enough I’ll have a watch PC that will communicate wirelessly with peripherals and power itself (hope hope).
Casio is also heading into something other than watches! If there’s a phone, perhaps a gshock tablet can’t be far behind! That’d take on those slippery student fingers, and look tough while doing it!