Swatch, the Swiss watchmakers, have developed a new timepiece that can access email by communicating wirelessly with a special mousepad.
The company made a name for itself by selling 200 million colourful watches that became all the rage with school children in the 1980s.
But it now says that the Swatch Access wristwatch, which is due to ship later this year, stores a personal identification number that can be read by any nearby mousepad fitted with a sensor. The mousepad, which can be attached to PCs and Apple Macs, downloads the email, before forwarding it to the watch.
Rob Enderle, an analyst at Giga Information Group, said: "This represents some of the scary parts of technology. Early adopters may find this a frustrating experience, if they are only able to receive email and not send it."
Swatch Access is based on a radio frequency ID chip that is being put into various existing Swatches.
Yann Gamard, US manager of the Swatch Group, claims customers could, in future, use it to pay their bus fares electronically, for example, and sees potential in combining the communications capability of Swatch Talk with the ID feature of Swatch Access. Swatch Talk includes a built in microphone, speaker, antenna and transmitter.
Earlier this year, the company also introduced Swatch Beat, which it claimed was based on Internet time. The system breaks down each day into 1,000 "beats" per one minute and 26.4 seconds. For example, @500 is 6 am in New York, 8 pm in Tokyo and noon at Swatch's headquarters in Switzerland.
The day begins at 0000 Biel Mean Time, a new meridian reference point that makes Swatch's headquarters in Biel, Switzerland, ground zero for Internet Time. These multiples of 10 form a "base 10" reference, which is the same wherever customers are in the world compared to the standard "base 12" time, which changes.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago