Looking for a little "light relief"? Seiko has got a clock for you - two clocks, actually, one (model KX 350B) with a woodgrain rim and the other (model KX 351B) featuring a plastic rim painted to resemble metallic bronze. The appearance of these clocks is generally plain and unremarkable, though, what they DO in the event of a magnitude 3+ earthquake is what really matters.
Both clocks are equipped with four white LED lights that illuminate the clock face should a sufficiently large earthquake be detected by internal vibration sensors. As quakes of this intensity have been known to cause power outages, the clock's glowing face functions as an emergency light that can make it safer, easier and quicker for residents to exit their home.
Additional features enhance the clocks' normal functionality, such as radio-correcting quartz movements that limit any errors to about one second in 100,000 years. As well, built-in light sensors prevent the second hand from moving during the night in order to preserve battery strength.
Under normal conditions, the six AA alkaline batteries required to run these clocks will last about one year. Each clock measures 12 inches (300mm) in diameter, is just under 1 inch (67mm) thick, and weighs about 3 pounds (1.4 kg).
Model KX 350B with its attractive woodgrain rim is available at Japanese department stores now for 14,000 yen (about $). The plastic-rimmed model KX 351B will cost 12,000 yen (about $) and is scheduled to be introduced in late August of 2010. (via Impress Watch)