Before smartwatches, there was the Seiko UC-2000 wrist computer. This wearable computer may look advanced, but it was only capable of storing 2K of data, telling the time, and performing calculator functions. The gadget made its debut in 1984, and retailed for $300 ($689.04 in today’s dollars). What you’re looking at above is the UC-2000 mounted in its keyboard. Continue reading for more cool facts.
5. Massive UC-2200 Dock was Available
UC-2000 owners could have also purchased the UC-2200, an advanced keyboard that included a spool-fed printer, 4K of RAM and a 26K of ROM via a plug-in Application ROM pack (Microsoft Basic) – other ROM packs had games or an English to Japanese translation app.
4. There are Two Versions of the Keyboard
As strange as it may seem, there are two keyboard models: the UK01-0020 keyboard with 61 buttons, and the 62-button UK01-0010 – extra button lets you toggle between the alternate keyset of Kanji characters. Utilizing the UW01 module, you could also store 2000 characters on board, as well as perform the time/date, stopwatch, alarm and hourly chime functions.
3. Had 4×10 Dot Matrix LCD Display
According to Steve Fisher, “The watch (UC-2000) had a metal strap with grey aluminium fascia and grey/orange buttons. As stated before, it was a bit clunky but did its job very well. The watch had a 4×10 (50×28 total resolution) block dot matrix style LCD display.”
2. Massive Price Drops Due to Poor Sales
If any device was ahead of its time in 1984, it would be this watch. By 1986, merchandise liquidators, like Damark, were selling the entire Seiko system for approximately $100. In Japan, the UC-2000 was offered a la carte, as one could purchase the watch (Y19,000), terminal (Y29,800), ROM packs or any combination of each.
1. Why Seiko Thought You Needed This Watch Even if You Had a Computer
Yes, Seiko even tried pushing this device to those with desktop computers already. “You couldn’t carry your computer with you, so a device was offered to connect your watch to your home computer. The UC-2300 was a dock that was equipped with a transmission circuit but also had an interface for connecting to your home PC,” says Pocket Calculator Show.