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TECHNOWATCH

Way Beyond Dad's Watch

August 19, 1994|LYNN SIMROSS

Dick Tracy has nothing on Seiko's new MessageWatch, a combination watch and pager that also gives you weather reports, Dow Jones closing prices, winning lottery numbers, sports scores and ski conditions.

As a watch, this gadget automatically sets its time 36 times a day to the U.S. Bureau of Standards' atomic clock in Colorado, adjusts automatically to different time zones, daylight-saving time and leap year, and has a light and an alarm.

With its pager function, callers can leave telephone numbers up to 16 digits, "Call Home" or "Call Office" messages or a coded (0 to 9) message that can be set up in advance. For example, you could tell your child to send a Code 3 message to let you know he's home from school. MessageWatch also can alert its wearer to voice-mail and electronic-mail messages as they occur.

MessageWatch has a two-line screen and receives electronic signals over the FM airwaves rather than a cellular network, so there are hundreds of possibilities of data it can ultimately receive. For unlimited message capacity on MessageWatch, you pay $12.50 a month.

TECHNOWATCH THE GOODS For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday September 2, 1994 Home Edition Life & Style Part E Page 8 Column 3 View Desk 1 inches; 30 words Type of Material: Correction; Column
A recent Technowatch listed incorrect sales information for the Clik!Case CD carrier/holders. The holders can be purchased at Target, Sound Warehouse, Blockbuster Music and Wal-Mart. Or call (800) 722-2545.

The watch/pager/data receiver operates on a standard lithium battery that will last an average of 18 months with continuous use, Seiko reps say.

Down the road, Seiko says MessageWatch will be able to relay traffic reports or financial information, such as the balance in your checking account.

Already on the market in Seattle and Portland, Ore., MessageWatch will roll out in Los Angeles and several other cities in the fall, selling in major retail chains and consumer electronics stores. MessageWatch models cost from $79.95 to $199. If you can't find MessageWatch in your area, call Seiko's toll-free number, (800) 456-5600.

Sharp Creates 10.6 Ounces of Fun

After introducing the "world's smallest and lightest" portable MiniDisc (MD) player last year, Sharp has just come out with a new pocket-size MD recorder/player.

Weighing just 10.6 ounces, the Sharp MD-M11 recorder ($799) can be used at home, work, outdoors or on the road. It also features a multi-editing function that allows users to create personalized MiniDiscs, and has a rechargeable lithium battery that permits 2 1/2 hours of continuous playback or about two hours of recording per charge.

Digital and analog input/output jacks let you connect the MD-M11 to your other audio equipment. It includes overhead-type dynamic headphones. To find a store in your area that carries the MD-M11, call (800) BE-SHARP.

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Speaking of compact discs, there's a clever new carrying/storage case for CDs called Clik!Case. There are two models, storing 12 or 24 CDs (without their cases) in hinged trays that flip up or down so any disc can easily be selected.

Winner of a bronze award in this year's Industrial Designers Society of America's Industrial Design Awards competition, Clik!Case is made of molded plastic with a snap lock to keep CDs in place. The Clik!Case CD 12 is small enough to fit into a purse, backpack or briefcase.

Manufactured by Outer Circle Products Ltd. in Chicago, Clik!Cases are available (CD 12 size, $10; CD 24, $15) nationwide at Wal-Mart, and selected Longs Drugs. If you can't find them in your area, call (800) 722-2545.

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