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Weasley Clock Ticks Closer to Becoming Reality

Products
Posted by: Edward
May 09, 2009, 09:03 PM

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." 

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165 Comments

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463 Points

oh that’s amazing! i would so buy one! :)

Posted by silverwings [FTC!] on May 09, 2009, 10:43 PM report to moderator
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179 Points

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.

Posted by Lisee_Lu on May 09, 2009, 10:51 PM report to moderator
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179 Points

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.

Posted by Lisee_Lu on May 09, 2009, 10:53 PM report to moderator
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1616 Points

Very interesting

Posted by Jersey on May 09, 2009, 10:54 PM report to moderator
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65 Points

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.

Posted by Sheri on May 09, 2009, 10:56 PM report to moderator
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644 Points

thatt is sooo cool!!! :)

Posted by fan.numero1 [SFTC!] on May 09, 2009, 10:58 PM report to moderator
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3455 Points

Awesome! i want that clock…..but i’ll have to convince my parents to buy me a phone first! lol!

Posted by Catherine ( *SQUEE!*) on May 09, 2009, 11:15 PM report to moderator
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2661 Points

Wow! This is pretty cool (just like the Weasleys!), and it’s good that they don’t want it to get too creepy.

Posted by Wingardium Leviosa ❄WBM❄ on May 09, 2009, 11:17 PM report to moderator
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107 Points

cool

Posted by hbp will be betterthan tdk on May 09, 2009, 11:30 PM report to moderator
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102 Points

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.

Posted by The Dumbledore's Army Band on May 09, 2009, 11:47 PM report to moderator
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1116 Points

amazing! I can see more fans buying this than other potter merchandise.

Posted by ameema on May 09, 2009, 11:50 PM report to moderator
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573 Points

that is sooooooooooooooo cooooooooool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am making it one of my things to do “before I die” if they ever come out!

Posted by Another Weasley on May 10, 2009, 12:05 AM report to moderator
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794 Points

Oh wow, that sounds so cool !

Posted by Wannabe Weasley on May 10, 2009, 12:05 AM report to moderator
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573 Points

haha I just realized Mr. Weasley would be like “ingenious these muggles—how they do all this without magic!” haha

Posted by Another Weasley on May 10, 2009, 12:06 AM report to moderator
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77 Points

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.

Posted by Nylota on May 10, 2009, 12:23 AM report to moderator
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