February 23, 2009

Seiko Messagewatch, Meet Poesis

by Nick Montfort · , 7:35 pm

In the 1990s, Seiko manufactured and supported a service for a pager in a wristwatch’s guise. The unit could only display two eight-character lines, and because it (more or less) used a seven-segment display, it could only display a subset of the letters in the English alphabet. (I speak of it in the past tense, for service is discontinued as the device did not survive Y2K.) For instance, it could not display the letters K, M, or W, so it could not render the words “Seiko,” “Message,” or “Watch.” Nevertheless, Benjamin Mako Hill wrote an ode to the Seiko Messagewatch on the Seiko Messagewatch.