Hewlett-Packard's Walkie-Talkie Watch Puts A Call Into Dick Tracy
During the Christmas season of 2008, we posted the "Top Ten Geeky Gifts For Christmas," and a Walkie-Talkie Watch by Street Wise Surveillance made the list. While the watch wasn't marketed as a "Dick Tracy" watch, I posted it as such since there were so many similarities between their product and the fictional watch warned in the comic strip. Well, here it is - 2 years later and HP is actually rolling out a "Dick Tracy" watch for the military.
Hewlett-Packard says it's developing a next-generation wristwatch for the US Military that will run on solar energy, making it less likely to malfunction or run out of power in a tense scenario (now that's right up Tracy's alley!)
The solar panels will use a technology developed by a company called PowerFilm. That company also has developed solar-powered tents for the military, according to its Web site.
"We call it a Dick Tracy watch," said Carl Taussig, director of information surfaces at HP Labs in Palo Alto, California, in a reference to the comic-strip detective whose high-tech wristwatch doubled as a two-way radio.
Though not expected to be ready for a year, the US government plans to test the prototype with a small group of soldiers before presenting it to the entire military. Using plastic instead of glass, the high-tech wristwatches that double as two-way radio will be light-weight and unbreakable.
So a technological advancement dreamt up by cartoonist Chester Gould all the way back in the 1930s will actually become a reality in the 21st Century. In this cartoon, note the call-out caption indicating the presence of the 2-Way Wrist Radio. Captions such as these were a signature element of Chester Gould's cartooning style, and perhaps his way of telling future generations who was really the inventor of the walkie-talkie watch!