- on Education & Information
- Published in issue 6/2000 on page 0
Kinetic Auto Relay
electromechanics by the square centimetre
Seiko recently introduced a new line of wristwatches under the somewhat cryptic name of ‘kinetic auto relay’. The internal construction of these watches will certainly interest electronics engineers. They are such magnificent examples of technical ingenuity that the fact that they also keep very exact time will probably be of secondary importance to the true enthusiast — even if it is naturally a nice side effect.What do wristwatches have to do with electronics?Previously, the answer was ‘nothing at all’, but nowadays the two have steadily more in common. In any case, we can say that the boundary between the two disciplines is becoming increasingly vague, as a consequence of ongoing digitalisation and integration. A digital camera, for example, is a long way removed from its original, purely optomechanical roots. It is not at all a mechanical device any more, and it could just as well be described as a ‘mini-computer with an optical interface’.