Television watch

"Already, the science fiction writers' dream has become a reality with the wristwatch TV from Seiko - again, it will be around a year before it appears in shops in the UK."

This appeared on Tomorrow's World at the time. It was underwhelming. From what I remember, the aerial and batteries were stored outside the watch, in a small box that was kept in a shirt pocket. And the picture quality was very poor. It did however reach the market, and remains a cult 80s consumer tech item nowadays, like Sinclair's 'Black Watch' or the Fisher-Price 'PXL-2000' video camera (which used audio cassettes to store footage and had a ghostly, grainy image quality).

Tiny LCD televisions became affordable at the turn of the 90s, although they had the same problems as the television watch above - reception was poor, battery life was limited, and whereas radio is divided into bite-sized musical chunks, it's not comfortable to watch half-hour / hour-long television slots on a screen the size of an apple. MTV might be appropriate, but that's only available via satellite and cable.

Nowadays the big news in television technology is the full-sized flat-panel LCD display. Sinclair and other companies were convinced that they were on the verge of marketing such devices in the early-80s - in reality, a 21" widescreen LCD television costs over 5,000 in 2001, and, in 1983, the market for such a thing would have been restricted to NASA, JPL, Strategic Air Command, and perhaps the US Navy, for use in submarines.

(c) Ashley Pomeroy 2001