Weasley Clock Ticks Closer to Becoming Reality

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May 09, 2009

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.”

Posted by: EdwardTLC





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