As we head towards the millennium, Swiss watchmaker Swatch wants to push us into a radical global timekeeping system, dubbed Internet time or BMT (Biel Mean Time).
Internet Time divides the day into 1,000 'beats', each equivalent to one minute and 26.4 seconds. That means that 12 noon in our current system is the equivalent of 500 Swatch Beats.
The day begins at 000 Buel Mean Time, a new meridian reference point that makes Swatch headquarters in Buel, Switzerland, ground zero for Internet Time. The idea being that the time is always the same wherever you are in the world.
The idea has won the support of Nicholas Negroponte, author and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab in the US.
"Cyberspace has no seasons - the virtual world is absent of night and day,? said Negroponte. ?Internet time is not driven by the sun?s position, it is driven by yours - your location in space and time."
?The digital world will make our lifestyles more asynchronous," added Negroponte. ?For many people, real time will be Internet time."
For the idea to take off, Swatch will have to get the endorsement of the worldwide body of standards keepers coordinated by the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures in France.
Analysts believe the BIPM would take a huge amount of convincing as it would be a huge expense to convert the whole world to Internet time. Swatch confirmed to 'Newswire' that it will launch Internet watches in the UK in the new year.
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