Saturday, 15 June 2013

I'm not sure .....

if it ever existed. The Watchman watch I discovered is definitely in the patents database - but whether it ever existed, in prototype or finished form I don't know.

There are a whole heap of things that are right on the border of existence - the Atari Space Invaders handheld on the right (COP 420 processor, 32 x 32 LCD apparently) probably existed in prototype form, but was certainly never released. Or it could just have been a box mockup.

It's not as if it is completely off the wall. The patent (see links box) was filed by Jay Smith III on behalf of Smith Engineering. Jay is the designer of both the Microvision and the Vectrex.

So I would guess it was either a fully worked design or prototype that was built - the whole design is certainly plausible and is given in quite impressive detail but never got built in any quantity or released, as far as I can tell.

So , anyway I plan to create it to a 'playable' level - in emulation, not a watch obviously. It has all the retrogoodies I like - it's fairly ridiculous, it's very low level technology (4 bit CPU) and it's original :)

There's all sorts of interesting things in the database. There are the original designs for the Microvision, Total Control 4, Entex Select-a-Game amongst others. There's some highly speculative designs here as well that probably were never built and some rather wild and wonderful things that were.

I was quite tempted to use the "Invisible Alien Neutraliser" patent but I couldn't think of anything to do with it. It is basically a handheld console with a phototransistor attached, it can read the ambient light level. The amazing thing about this is it actually was made ........... one wonders about the sense involved in releasing such a thing :)

Anyway, in the next post I will expand on the hardware a little.

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