Thanks go to Benny in Israel for bringing this patent application to my attention. This patent is for a “Devices for quantifying the passage of time” often called a clock or watch, possibly even an iWatch. But this device is different in that it does not use the standard mechanism of counting time. In the description, the author – John David Jones says:
Currently, the most popular formats for conveying date and time information are incredibly archaic. Telling time in the standard hours-minutes-seconds format can be terribly confusing, especially considering that hours are calculated in a different scale than minutes and seconds, and both are calculated in a different scale than months or years. Further, a time expressed in hours-minutes-seconds format only carries one type of meaning: a time of day. Expressing calendar information can be just as difficult. For example, the Gregorian calendar contains months of differing numbers of days, is altered during leap years, and is not easily converted to measure times from dates other than January 1 of a base year, such as the commonly used Year 1 of the Common Era (CE).
What is needed is a device that can display time and/or date information in a more useful format than the traditional clock and calendar formats.
This reminds of the problem of currency in England when I was growing up. There were 20 shilling to a pound and 12 pennies to a shilling. Common coinage was things like ½ Crown which was 2 shillings and 6 pence or a Guinea which was 21 shillings. Don’t even get me started as to why it was 21 shillings, because that is a long story. In 1971 all that changed when they adopted a decimal currency. Could this be the start of the decimalization of time? That would most certainly be simpler. But oh no. This is not decimalization – it is transforming time to base 36! OK – back to the description we go to find out why!
A day is divided into thirty-six increments, called “periods.” Periods are likewise divided into thirty-six increments called “fractions,” which are likewise divided into thirty-six increments, and so on. This subdivision may be continued into smaller and smaller increments in order to obtain a desired amount of precision in an expression of time.
Days are also grouped together into larger units of time. A group of thirty-six days is called a “cycle.” Cycles may be grouped in units of thirty-six, and those groupings may be grouped in units of thirty-six, and so on in order to obtain a desired magnitude in an expression of time.
The measurement of time in increments of thirty-six has numerous attendant advantages. For example, the number thirty-six is divisible by at least two, three and four, making it easily split into halves, thirds, and quarters. As another example, measuring all increments in multiples of thirty-six provides consistency and ease of computation. One need not remember the arbitrarily proportioned 60 traditional minutes in a traditional hour, 24 traditional hours (and therefore 1440 traditional minutes) in a day, 30 days (and therefore 720 traditional hours, or 43,200 traditional minutes) in some traditional months, and so on.
Glad we have something that is SO much simpler. Now, I am sure there are some real advantages in this. Of course :
Base-36 is particularly useful because each digit may be expressed by one of the characters 0-9 and A-Z. Hence, alphanumeric strings such as words have a meaningful value.
the time “4:20 PM” does not carry any recognizable meaning, but the CFILORUX time “.POT”, translated to approximately “5:07 PM,” may be more easily understood. Other times, such as “.FOOD” (approximately 10:27 AM) or “.COFFEE” (approximately 8:27 AM) also serve as good examples of times that may be converted to or from common words.
OK, I think you get the picture. If you interested in reading more about this, it is application number 8379489Brian Bailey
– keeping you entertained
If you found this article to be of interest, visit EDA Designline
where – in addition to my blogs on all sorts of "stuff" – you will find the latest and greatest design, technology, product, and news articles with regard to all aspects of Electronic Design Automation (EDA).
Also, you can obtain a highlights update delivered directly to your inbox by signing up for the EDA Designline weekly newsletter – just Click Here
to request this newsletter using the Manage Newsletters tab (if you aren't already a member you'll be asked to register, but it's free and painless so don't let that stop you [grin]).