The future of consumer electronics, with desired toy

So, it seems like things are moving toward everything being networked. My phone service is already over the Internet, and consumer TV-over-IP can’t be too far away. That’s one of the reasons that I’m so happy that my house is so wired, while at the same time wondering if it’ll still meet my needs 20 years from now. (I figure that worst case is that I’ll need a switch in every room.)

So, there’s a device that I want now along these lines: I want a clock (such as for the living room) that plugs into the network to get its time via NTP. It can’t be too hard. I’ve done some searching, but all I’ve found are mainly for businesses, and the lowest cost I could find was for about $200. Most places just were asking for contact information so they could give you a quote. That price is way too high for a clock. I could buy a brand new computer with a monitor from Dell for $300 and use that as a clock if I wanted to go that route.

Any suggestions?

4 thoughts on “The future of consumer electronics, with desired toy

  1. Of course, rather than actually buying a new computer I’d probably use an old one we have… I’d just imagine the power consumption would be much higher than a dedicated clock device. But maybe everything’s moving to be computer-based, such that a computer in the living room doing little more than telling the time and giving email notifications or something is a reasonable thing to do.

  2. My father has clocks (~$50) that automatically synchronize using a radio signal. I think they handle daylight savings time too. That might solve your problem.

  3. I find radio signals rarely manage to come out all the way to where we live, although it’s possible that the shortwave frequency they use might manage to.

    But, then it wouldn’t be networked. I kind of would want it to serve as the NTP server for the rest of our network. Since a networked clock would be cool.

  4. I’ve seen watches that connect to your computer using infrared to synchronize, maybe you could get one of those and a magnifying glass so that it looks like a full-sized clock :)

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