Stretching The Definition of Wristwatch TV
By James Grahame
At first glance, this 1983 wristwatch TV from Seiko-Epson appears to be a gadget lover's delight. Look a bit closer and you'll discover several fatal flaws. First, the 1.1-inch blue LCD display isn't backlit, making it almost impossible to view the blurry low-contrast image in anything but perfect light. The second serious flaw is its size. You see, the cable on the top left connects to a Walkman-sized TV/FM tuner that's designed to be worn on your belt.
Combine the bulky 2-box design with a price tag of $495 (in 1983 dollars), and Seiko was almost guaranteed slow sales. Seiko withdrew the TV watch from the market a short while after introduction, but at least they earned themselves bragging rights as "the first."
Over 20 years later, manufacturers still haven't perfected the TV watch. The NHJ VTV-101 color TV was released in 2005 and sells for a mere $99. It offers a 1.5-inch color display, but the case is still huge. And let's be honest, it makes far more sense to watch videos on an iPod or mobile phone. That way you don't have to hold your wrist at a funny angle for hours on end.