Weasley Clock Ticks Closer to Becoming Reality

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May 09, 2009

Posted by EdwardTLC

Those who desire a Muggle version of the Weasley family clock may not have much longer to wait for this type of technology to be available in their homes. The Times is reporting this evening that researchers at Microsoft have completed user trials for their Whereabouts Clock. As TLC reported back in 2007, the company had been testing this device which ‘monitor[s] the movements of family
members through their mobile phones.’ According to the article, the device ‘works by identifying which cell of a mobile phone network
a family member is in at any given time. When users set up the Whereabouts
Clock they have to give each cell a name, such as “work” or “school”, by
downloading software onto their phone.’ With this information, the clock would be able to assign a location to each person based on when they enter that cell. Researcher Richard Harper spoke of the aims of this device by saying:

“We want it to give enough information to be comforting without giving
so much that people feel they are being watched.”

The Times goes on to note that Microsoft is looking at how to market the product, but makes no mention of its release. Janice Day, one of those who tested the clock, said that she “didn’t
like initially everyone knowing where I was – and I thought, Janice, you
hypocrite. But by the end I was actually quite happy about it.”





165 Responses to Weasley Clock Ticks Closer to Becoming Reality

Avatar ImageProfessor Cassandra says: Cool, a Weasley clock for us Muggles! Dunno if I want my mom to have one, though. lol!Avatar ImageAugury Feather says: haha awesome and creepy at the same time. not sure what to make of this one - privacy protection is always a worryAvatar Imageoldenoughtoknowbetter says: That would be sooooo cool! Though I worry enough about my kids as it is... don't know if I need more reason!!Avatar Imageface.in.book says: Interesting, but it looks a bit ugly at the moment. Hopefully they can make it a little more attractive before they finish it up. But I guess I'm looking for the homey charm of the Weasley clock, and that's probably too much to hope for.Avatar Imagelurking_llama says: That is amazing, we have certainly come so very far in the last few years as far as technology is concerned. I'm sur ethat this type of technology will be abused by someone somewhere but that doesn't make it any less of an impressive thing. I know that I would love to have one...although I don't have kids...I could maybe just take it everywhere with me so that I could see where I was. That would be pretty cool....Avatar ImageDanielaNC says: I'm not really sure this the best of ideas. One time will tell us if people accept it. Avatar ImageWicked_Lady says: Interesting... Yeah, that's all I'm going to say.Avatar Imagekamidee says: Sounds fun but I think it should be in *another* company's hands if you want it to have a creative touch ;)Avatar ImageArthur22 says: I dont know if i like this, from what it sounds like other people could tell where you are also. Privacy would be an issue here. Has anyone ever said "I would like that", not me or anyone i know,Avatar Imagemuzic823 says: While I love the idea of the Weasley's clock in my house, I think this clock sounds a bit too invasive lol. It's neat that we've come that far in technology though.Avatar Imagecalliet2b4g says: haha that would be soo cool!!!Avatar ImageErinM says: I think that it's great for parents to keep an eye on their kids but as an adult, I don't need anyone monitoring my movements. Maybe they should be marketing it to parents only. That seems like their best move. I know my kids would HATE it! :)Avatar Imagejenbabe705 says: Yes! Now all I need is for my red headed fiance to agree to seven kids and I have achieved my Weasley dreams.Avatar Imagejenbabe705 says: Yes! Now all I need is for my red headed fiance to agree to seven kids and I have achieved my Weasley dreams.Avatar Imagejenbabe705 says: Yes! Now all I need is for my red headed fiance to agree to seven kids and I have achieved my Weasley dreams.Avatar Imagejenbabe705 says: Yes! Now all I need is for my red headed fiance to agree to seven kids and I have achieved my Weasley dreams.Avatar Imagemaimiaa says: whaaaat. that's..a little odd. neat. but odd.Avatar Imagekbicprez says: Microsoft did this? I would never have guessed. Now if they could only apply some of that ingenuity to VISTA.Avatar Imagejoelface says: I wonder if they'll ever admit they got the idea from HP?Avatar Imagehermyone08 says: that would be so cool, i am like speechless right now!Avatar ImageLavendergirl says: wow, so cool! I can't believe that they actually came up with this! Avatar ImageZhandarq says: I want to know how they are going to incorporate the "Mortal Peril" alert into the clock? That's the one I'd deem most important! "Mom, come get me, I'm in trooouuuble!" ;o)Avatar Imagepottercastfan says: Cool!Avatar ImageGF_of_Seamus says: i. want. one. now.Avatar Imagepottercastfan says: I need one like that~Avatar Imagepottercastfan says: if only we could buy them huh!Avatar Imagespicefan1978 says: Interesting idea but I don't know if I would like a real one. I mean it would be great to know where your loved ones were at all times yet you might feel invaded. Like ErinM said, it would be great for parents and their kids but as an adult, no. But how will it work? Are you going to have to have a computer chip embedded into your skin? Avatar ImageLoSushi says: I WANT THIS.Avatar ImageLuce_depp says: Cool idea, i'd love a weasley clock...but it scares me a litte bit invasive hahaAvatar ImageLuce_depp says: Cool idea, i'd love a weasley clock...but it scares me a litte bit invasive hahaAvatar Imagecheekysnake09 says: oh that's amazing! i would so buy one! :)Avatar ImageLisee_Lu says: That's an awesome idea. I was kinda waiting to see who would market this one first. It's not that hard of a concept really, but i mean... microsoft. I'm sorry, but seriously? Seriously? I would love a clock like that though. As long as you can make cheeky whereabouts.Avatar ImageLisee_Lu says: That's an awesome idea. I was kinda waiting to see who would market this one first. It's not that hard of a concept really, but i mean... microsoft. I'm sorry, but seriously? Seriously? I would love a clock like that though. As long as you can make cheeky whereabouts.Avatar ImageJersey says: Very interestingAvatar Imageslwarren says: Hmmm...governments already have enough methods for spying on people. Do we really want to give them another one? Or, how about our bosses or, worse...stalkers. Since Microsoft is developing it, you know that it is going to be "hackable". This is just plain creepy. Too much room for misuse and abuse IMHO.Avatar Imagefan.numero1 says: thatt is sooo cool!!! :) Avatar ImageCatherine says: Awesome! i want that clock.....but i'll have to convince my parents to buy me a phone first! lol!Avatar ImageWingardium Leviosa says: Wow! This is pretty cool (just like the Weasleys!), and it's good that they don't want it to get too creepy.Avatar Imagehbp will be betterthan tdk says: coolAvatar ImageWizardRockDA says: The article specifically says that it monitors location via your mobile phone and what cell of your network you're in. So really, all you'd have to do to get off the radar is turn your phone off. Still, I think this falls more under "invasive" than "cool." Its a neat idea at first, but I don't like personal tracking technology of any sort. There's too much potential for it to turn into Big Brother technology. And personally, I find that kids grow into more successful and responsible adults when they're given a measure of trust and responsibility as opposed to being constantly monitored.Avatar Imageameema says: amazing! I can see more fans buying this than other potter merchandise. Avatar ImageKellyAnn says: that is sooooooooooooooo cooooooooool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am making it one of my things to do "before I die" if they ever come out!Avatar Imagewinniethepooh says: Oh wow, that sounds so cool !Avatar ImageKellyAnn says: haha I just realized Mr. Weasley would be like "ingenious these muggles--how they do all this without magic!" hahaAvatar ImageNylota says: I think this is an interesting idea, but I would be a bit weary of how this kind of information can be misused, via a hacker. I'd be scared that someone could be stalking me at any time.Avatar Imageravenclanna says: How i wish I could have a clock like this!Avatar Imagegrimnakjarman says: wow that is really intresting Avatar ImageEmilyDeibert says: Wow, that's amazing! Molly would be proud =)Avatar Imagegrlgoddess says: This would be interesting, but the people who would need it most would be the most annoyed by it. For example, my parents never know where my sister is...actually, I have no idea where she is right now... but she would probably be really ticked off if they knew where she was all the time.Avatar Imagebecmajec says: interestingAvatar ImageLady of the Lake says: That's kind of creepy, but kind of cool, I guess.Avatar ImageBre Sartain says: Interesting.Avatar ImageR-for-H says: YAY!! Weasley clock for muggles... How amazing is that!!Avatar ImageAbiDumbledore says: That is so cool! I can't actually imagine it though lol!Avatar ImageBewareoftheNargles says: Hmmmm....well, I'd like to see it properly. And see it work. And see it look like the weasleys' one.Avatar Imagewolfiejinn says: Interesting idea. So many technological ideas have been finding reality when before they were just fiction. A lot of what was considered "science fiction" in the 1940s-1960s is now commonplace or even old-fashioned to us now (though I still want the hovercar that's affordable and accomodates the whole family!)Avatar Imagesplinch says: Arthur would be amazed. its kind of like how star trek inspired cell phones lolAvatar ImageLunaGinervaBlack says: i just want the weasley clock to be real!Avatar Imagewandmastercalum says: Awesome!!!!!Avatar ImageProfessorPotter says: Mothers and Harry Potter collectors would want this clock. Many teenagers wont! If I was a teenager and I dont want my mother know where I am, I will be plotting how to avoid this obstacle. I may come up with an idea of buying another "pay as you go" phone and leave the other phone at a place that mother would approve! But that was when I was a teenager. Today, I'm all for tracking these damn wayward teenagers, lol. But on the really practical side this is quite a good idea to keep track of their children. Its also a good idea for a married couple to get this to avoid temptation on cheating on each other and develop trust for each other! ;) Otherwise its just really cool news that such a device can be made, even if it isnt really marketable :) Avatar ImageKiwiBrian says: Not sure if I like it. This could bring up several privacy issues and would be easy for someone to abuse.Avatar ImageNyssaM says: cool! but its microsoft so it might not work... Avatar Imageebcjoel says: If twitter is any example this will be a success. Avatar ImageFleur-de- Lily says: coolAvatar Imagex_Potter_Lover_Forever_x says: Interesting. Sorta cool and creepy. But the nevertheless a worthwhile thing to have. "A Weasley clock for us muggles!!" :DAvatar Imageloony_slytherin says: Coolio!! :)Avatar Imagekiwimci says: really don't like this ideaAvatar ImageVerity Weasley says: This clock is seriously cool!Avatar ImageRosemunde says: This is interesting on a couple fronts. One is that Harry Potter has become so mainstream that a big company like Microsoft would develop a concept from the books. The other is that our concept of privacy seems to be getting closer to that of J K Rowling's wizarding world. Avatar Imageangelac123 says: Cool! :DAvatar Imagehpftw says: This is so cool! Avatar ImageLilly-Angel1 says: Umm.. I thought this was cool at first, but really? Privasy much! But if you bought one for it to be a decorative thing, it would be pretty cool.Avatar ImageLooie says: Haha that's really cool! I wonder if Jo will have one! Avatar ImageMidnightSun321 says: hmmmmmm. freaky and cool. but sounds kinda completicated in a way.... i want one exactly like the weasleys!!!!Avatar ImageMidnightSun321 says: but still cool!! i want 1!! but its soooo unprivate. atleast the weasleys one just has the basic categories!Avatar Imageharrypotterfan5324 says: oh my god i want a weasley clock!!!! DUDE THATS AMAZING!!!!!!!Avatar ImageKaraDawlish says: Thats.... Thats absolutely creepy... I mean for the weasleys it works they're all so close& such a big fam. Its probably hard to keep track, with them at hogwarts& all over the world& what not ...but REALLY...?Avatar ImageNaners says: Wow, I don't know how I would feel about this. It sounds like a good idea, but sounds like there wouldn't be a whole lot of privacy. Although I think it would be really cool to have a Weasley clock, just not one that actually works. Avatar ImageHROAR Mudblood Proud says: Mr. Weasley would have a field day! I wonder if you can set one of the cells to "mortal peril"Avatar ImageGarden State Geek says: I just hope Microsoft does a good job on it. This is the same company that gave us Vista. Avatar ImageCellar Door says: Cool, if you look at it from the "Harry Potter awesomeness" side. Worst thing ever if you consider it from the "Oh noes, my parents will know where I am!" point of view.Avatar ImageLivelaughlovepotter says: From what I see in the avatar, it doesn't look much like the Weasley clock... Other than that, it's pretty cool :].Avatar ImageRita_Dumbledore94 says: Awesomeeeee *-*Avatar Imagemuggle..andproudofit says: That is so freaken awsome!Avatar ImageHPNAIV says: Hmm. Interesting...Avatar ImageDolphingirl500 says: I know my mom would love this, because she could always have an eye on my brother and I. Maybe next mothers' day...Avatar Imagefelixfelicis11 says: So cool! It might be super expensive, though :/Avatar ImageSophie Treklemmer says: umm... disturbing.... but cool if used moderately x)Avatar Imagefloridianhp says: coool!!!! aswome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thats soo coolAvatar Imagebrentbrehony says: Wow thats great maybe I'll have to get a cell phone now!!(LOL)Avatar Imagesunlitdays says: ooh this is so interesting! i doubt the whereabouts clock will ever get it to say "mortal peril," but theyre trying! aww man this is so cool :)Avatar ImageLizbit says: Hmm.. I like the idea of the Weasley's clock. This one I'm no so sure of. It seems it could take things a bit farther and be too much.Avatar Imageshellybasson says: I wants it!!Avatar Imagerebel says: wow that is so cool!Avatar Imagesaffran says: Yes,I want one now! With 4 lively children it would be perfect!Avatar Imageiamrodefer22 says: I cannot wait to get my hands on this. I just hope it will work with any cell plan.Avatar ImageThio says: Somethings should stay in the magical world. lol! It already scares the hell out of me those google adds in my Gmail account. Like when I was talking about my graduation party and there were several adds on my Gmail saying "Graduation Parties? Click here!". Maybe the Weasley clock should continue to be only the Weasley clock! But as this is a product that you choose whether you want to buy or not, it's cool. Those who want it, be my guest! I prefer a flying broom. ^^Avatar Imageplacebowiz says: pretty coolAvatar ImageCarol Carvalho says: Hahahah too bad it is going to be done by Microsoft.... it is going to freeze up and everybody is going to be in mortal peril! :P Avatar Imagereadthroughthenight says: Want it, but with the grandfather clock style, with hands. Please Mr Gates?Avatar ImageMr. Brightside says: "Users who wish to conceal their location can switch off the application. If they want to provide more precise information, they can text a message that will appear on the clock face. " So you could actually say "Hi mom i 'm at school now as you can see." No thanks it's very creepy and i don't want another spying machine.Avatar ImageLifeInAPizzaBox says: OMG horrah for technology, a muggles magic Avatar Imagesnunkiebrian says: Oh wow that would be totally amazingAvatar Imagesnunkiebrian says: I want one.... totally want oneAvatar Imagejeannemcl says: Yes!! And no.Avatar ImageNayNay3782 says: thats so *cool*!Avatar Imagelifa says: That is so cool. I would love to have one that looks a little bit better though. I also would not want my mother to have one though.Avatar ImageHermioneRon4ever says: Kool... but a little creepy. It would be awesome to say "I have a working Weasley clock!" but there could be problems, as everyone else has stated. Mr. Weasley would love it :PAvatar Imageadriwadri says: wow.this is coolAvatar ImageAvangelis says: this would be great if it was a replica for hp fas but in the real world this is too muchAvatar ImageAvangelis says: this would be great if it was a replica for hp fas but in the real world this is too muchAvatar Imagesqueefulhuffie says: That's so cool! Avatar Imagecheeserpleaser says: I personally think that such a device would spare families many unnecessary phone calls asking children, parents, and siblings where they are at. As worrisome as privacy concerns may be, I think that this is less dangerous than a device such as a GPS that can track you down right to the foot. This is actually, in my opinion, a less intrusive and more amusing alternative to it.Avatar Imagemaera-kyrie says: OH this is fantastic! It sounds absolutely perfect!Avatar Imagepotions_mistress67 says: Oooohh, this will be handy for when my kids are teenagers! Avatar Imagecryospear says: This would be so awesome!! Well, I guess it would be as long as big brother doesn't get too involved!Avatar Imagethe_spectacle says: That's pretty cool. A good thing for knowing where your friends are. I don't know about parents. I'm an adult though so my parents don't always know where I am. I wouldn't mind if they did. Avatar Imagecarmenriots says: This is one of the best things i've ever heard!Avatar ImageHermioneWwannabe says: hmmmmmmmmmmm....intrigingAvatar ImageiLoveDolores says: mrs weasley would be proud! Avatar Imagebutterbeer bottle says: Interesting, that sounds pretty cool.Avatar Imagecopimione says: Wow, that's cool.. But to have it? Hmm... Let's think about it first.. Hehe.Avatar ImageIcklEshAIrAkIns says: I don't want one at home, Avatar Imagebellyrox says: Thats pretty cool!! I wouldnt get one - I like my privacy - but its good to see HP type products getting made beyond the basic wands and merchandiseAvatar ImageIcklEshAIrAkIns says: I don't want one at home, Avatar ImageiLoveDolores says: just goes to show doesnt it, Jo continues to inspire =D one of the many reasons we love her <3Avatar ImagegaylebathanHP says: WOW! haha awesome! :DAvatar ImageLoony.in.Honeydukes says: Lol I agree with face.in.book, it is kinda ugly. But still :)Avatar ImageSlytherin Princess101 says: I want one of those!!Avatar ImagePrisoner Of Azkaban says: Haha! That's awesome! A weasly clock for us muggles :DAvatar ImageSnapesSilverDoe says: Amazing, wonder if Jo willclaim inventors rights!! ha ha ;)Avatar ImageBoyWithALightningScar says: That's frickin amazing! I can't wait for flying broomsticks or invisibility cloaks to become real as well.Avatar Imagetwilightstinks2 says: wow that is so cool i cant wait till it gets in stores. those of u who live in southern cal there is a store u can check out online wimsical alleyAvatar ImageHagrid 713 says: It's still not the Weasley clock - that's the only one I'd wantAvatar Imagedtown says: wow, that is a terrible, terrible idea! the only useful situation would be for parents to monitor little children, but little children shouldn't be running off without their parents anyway, so i vote a strong no, please!Avatar ImageDolemite says: I just want to surgically implant a tracking device in my daughter. Forget the phone bit.Avatar Imagemhaeyemhaeye says: Wow! That is one cool gadget!Avatar Imageiconshero says: Cool Concept......but i like a little privacy.....Avatar Imagemugglemom4 says: LOL my kids would hate this but I would love knowing where they are. I think the clock in the picture is ugly but that is just my taste. Some would probably love it. Avatar Imagehermi0ne_228 says: It´d be great,, if it worked with magic only!! HahaAvatar ImageIt must be bunnies says: Wow that would be so cool!Avatar ImagetaystarHP says: To have The Weasley's famous clock is soooo cool. It is amazing what the technology can do now. I LOVE it!!!Avatar ImagePigmyPuffPie says: So they can track us now with our cell phones??Avatar Imagekenmarekestrels93 says: cool but EXTREMELY creepy. I like it better as a fictional instrumentAvatar ImageNoella_Mansrot says: Wow. I admit I have thought "wouldn't it be cool to have one of those..." It would creep me out if it weren't so similar to an HP item! At least they're not talking about using micro-chips...yet. But you gotta hand it to them. That's cool!Avatar ImageNoella_Mansrot says: Of course, I wouldn't want one unless they made it LOOK like an old-fashioned clock just like Mrs. Weasleys!Avatar ImageElVampiro9878 says: thats awesome :)Avatar Imagenekoanimagus says: I am so interested by technology like this, but it's also somewhat scary. Like I'm paranoid we're all going to have barcodes and chips implanted into us as babies scary. :-/Avatar Imagenekoanimagus says: Oh yeah, as far as tracking with cell phones, they also have tools that allow you to see the congestion on the roadways based on cell phones and gps and whatnot.Avatar Imagealegria35 says: it's quite funny how the real world wants to copy the wizarding world created by JKR. i think it will be quite "uneasy" for someone to know that someone else knows her/his complete whereabouts. but as it said, they will be programming(?) their cellphones? or will they sms something to tell their whereabouts? anyway, it's just so hilarious... because at the book the muggles are afraid of the magical world, but in reality, we are copying it.... just saying..Avatar ImageDora_the_Auror says: This is amazing to me. I can't believe how far we've come with technology.Avatar ImageHorcruxalej says: ha that pretty cool now they just got to make it look cool haAvatar Imageladydars says: That is an awesome idea... But I get the whole privacy thing... If it was like the Weasley clock and it could just tell you when people are in Mortal Peril or travelling etc., that would be awesome but ... I don't know if that is possible. Still! Wicked!Avatar Imageellamia says: omg sooo cooool when i have kids im so getting one! gotta love the weasley'sAvatar Imagejonfrog says: it be cool but thats the point of having a cell phone in the first place, so that people can call you and find out where you are. you don't need a clock for that even if its cool.Avatar ImageHGROSS44 says: I tink it would be great to have one then some people will think before they act.Avatar ImageDavid_uk says: People will be bothered by this, but safety wise it's a wonderful idea. Kids could find themselves with *more* freedom, because at least parents would be able to find them if they really needed to.Avatar ImageKimberlyZ says: cool! i want one!Avatar ImageAhhheavytorch says: haha! This is would be awesome. But would you need to be on a family plan for this to work? Avatar ImageGryffindor Chaser says: FREAGIN AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Avatar Imagekingdom says: it's cool that they're coming up with this technology, in a way, it could be useful. though, by the information, it seems that it still has a lot of glitches. a lot of hassle for something that could be easily "hacked" and changed the location. also, we sort of already have this technology, remember, GPS systems and tracking devices? my dog has one, in case she ever got lost, we find her with a microchip she has embedded in her - they even have it for kids these days. the Duracell Batterie commercial shows the tracking device for kids - kind of freaky, no privacy.Avatar ImageHattFerg says: I want one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Avatar ImagecrazyforSeverus says: That is so cool! I don't know if I would like it, seems like a lack of privacy but then my mom wouldn't worry about me. But if someone never entered their cell (in which their location is submitted to the clock) and doesn't use their cell often (like me) the clock still wouldn't give accurate whereabouts.Avatar Imagejustin_967 says: I'd like one! It doesn't seem too invasive, I mean, the only things on the clock are travel, work, school and home. If you really don't want people you're not at home/work/school, leave your phone at home.Avatar ImagePhoenix1946 says: What's the big deal? Amateur Radio Operators have had location tracking for a decade. It is called Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS). Take a small GPS unit, connect it to a hand-held or mobile radio transceiver and your position is reported regularly via a network of radio repeaters. The system is internet connected so that family and friends can follow you in real time. There are software applications to display your position on a map on your PC. Best of all is there is no Microsoft in this. Check with your neighborhood Amateur Radio Operator (HAM for short) and see the magic.

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