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Author Topic: Swatch Internet Time (@Beats)  (Read 2392 times)
Cobra!
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« on: March 15, 2023 @846.56 »

In 1998, the Swiss watch company Swatch launched a new way to tell the time for the new fangled internet everyone was dialling into, and called it "Internet Time".

The intent of this is to provide a time that is easy to read without needing to convert time zones. This was before searching for a conversion of timezones online was easy.

Internet Time was based on the Decimal Time system the French tried to standardise (Basically a day is 10 hours, an hour is 100 minutes, and a minute is 100 seconds, and so on), but changed how it was displayed in what feels like a very 90s way.

Time is displayed like "@000.00", but most of the time the last 2 digits are left out.

So each day consists of 1000 beats. Each beat is 100 centibeats, and that's really it. Each centibeat is 0.8 seconds and each beat is about the equivalent of 1 minutes and 26 seconds.

Internet time follows Swiss time, so @000 would be midnight there.

Internet Time never really caught on, and it just fell from grace, but the Swatch website still has a page on the format, so it can't be completely dead, can it?

Personally, I would love to see this make a comeback and become more standardised. Because sometimes people don't tell you what timezone they're in when they mention a time, and mentioning the time in beats online would fix this issue. There's an app for MacOS to add beats to your menu bar, and Android and iOS apps for widgets to put on your homescreen.

Would also love to get a watch that tells the time in beats one day, but it's hard to find what models from the time used it.

For those who want to see what time it currently is in beats and a two way converter, there's a site that does it here.

It's possible to make a script to display the time in beats on your website, which I've done.

So what do you guys think about Internet Time? Do you think it should be revived?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2023 @155.66 by Cobra! » Logged




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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2023 @856.10 »

i've never heart of internet time but its so cool!! i think it would take a little getting used to especially if i was trying to convert it to real time but overall its so much better than timezones. already i barely know what people mean when they say they'll be streaming or something and then give a time with a timezone and i'm definitely not the one to actually double check what the conversion is.
this beat system honestly seems to fix everything i would love to see it make a comeback and be used more like there's so many uses i can think of for this today.
did it ever catch on with other companies past swatch? were there any major issues with it being used when it came out that led to its irreverence?
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2023 @863.48 »

yoooo, i absolutely love swatch internet time! i've seriously tried to get myself and my friends to use it because it would make planning vr events so much easier (no time zone conversions to worry about), but i haven't really been successful sadly.

maybe someday if i ever get the motivation to work on hardware projects again, i'll try to make some kind of cool @beat clock. i made one in neos a couple of years ago using its built-in scripting language: (the time in this photo was @002)


also, back when i made posters for the HFF vr music festival, i included the @beat time of each performance alongside the 'standard' time:
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2023 @995.14 »

Why have I never heard of this before!  :omg:  :omg:

The forum now features Swatch beats on all themes! And any future time-based events will be offered in swatch time  :smile:

Also for those of you who use PHP, here is my PHP Swatch Time calculator if you want to include it in your projects!
Code
// Returns the current Swatch beat
function GetSwatchTime($showDecimals = true)
{
    // Get time in Zurich - DO NOT CHANGE - Swatch central time
    $now = new DateTime("now", new DateTimeZone("Europe/Zurich"));
    // Calculate the seconds since midnight e.g. time of day in seconds
    $midnight = clone $now;
    $midnight->setTime(0, 0);
    $seconds = $now->getTimestamp() - $midnight->getTimestamp();
    // Swatch beats in seconds - DO NOT CHANGE
    $swatchBeatInSeconds = 86.4;
    // Calculate beats to two decimal places
    if ($showDecimals) {
        return number_format(round(abs($seconds / $swatchBeatInSeconds), 2), 2);
    } else {
        return floor(abs($seconds / $swatchBeatInSeconds));
    }
}

EDIT:
OMG apparently PHP actually supports native Swatch time already! Although I don't think it does the decimal part.
Code
$swatchTime = date('B'); //000-999
« Last Edit: March 16, 2023 @76.31 by Melooon » Logged


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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2023 @106.70 »

EDIT:
OMG apparently PHP actually supports native Swatch time already! Although I don't think it does the decimal part.
Code
$swatchTime = date('B'); //000-999

That’s really cool, actually!

Maybe you can use some of the code you did before and add the centibeats back in?
« Last Edit: March 30, 2023 @133.36 by Cobra! » Logged




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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2023 @146.16 »

Maybe you can use some of the cose you did before and add the centibeats back in?
May as well just stick with my version since you need to do the whole calculation to get the seconds anyway!

Also I found an app called BeatTime that adds swatch time to the apple watch (116)  :ozwomp:


Also also, I added a new "Insert current swatch time" button to the editor  :grin: @140.86 @140.88 @140.89

It uses JS so its always up to date! Here is the Javascript for anyone who needs it! Thanks to this page for the source.
Code
// calculate the time of the future
function GetSwatchTime(showDecimals = true) {
    // get date in UTC/GMT
    var date = new Date();
    var hours = date.getUTCHours();
    var minutes = date.getUTCMinutes();
    var seconds = date.getUTCSeconds();
    var milliseconds = date.getUTCMilliseconds();
    // add hour to get time in Switzerland
    hours = hours == 23 ? 0 : hours + 1;
    // time in seconds
    var timeInMilliseconds = ((hours * 60 + minutes) * 60 + seconds) * 1000 + milliseconds;
    // there are 86.4 seconds in a beat
    var millisecondsInABeat = 86400;
    // calculate beats to two decimal places
    if (showDecimals) {
        return Math.abs(timeInMilliseconds / millisecondsInABeat).toFixed(2);
    } else {
        return Math.floor(Math.abs(timeInMilliseconds / millisecondsInABeat));
    }
}
« Last Edit: March 16, 2023 @151.71 by Melooon » Logged


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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2023 @152.12 »

Also I found an app called BeatTime that adds swatch time to the apple watch (116)  :ozwomp:


I actually have that same app on my iPad and have the widget installed onto the home screen.

Also also, I added a new "Insert current swatch time" button to the editor  :grin: @140.86 @140.88 @140.89

Really? Where is the button? I don’t see it?
« Last Edit: March 16, 2023 @155.68 by Cobra! » Logged




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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2023 @157.37 »

You might need to clear your cache; its next to the date and time buttons and has a lil swiss flag.

We will drag this time format into popularity by hell or high water  :evil:
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2023 @170.31 »

Ah I see it now! @169.68

We will drag this time format into popularity by hell or high water  :evil:

Hell yes! :cool:

I’ve been trying to use it myself whenever I need to mention a time for an event or meet up, so there’s that.

Like I said before, I plan to get a watch that tells the time in beats to accompany my analogue watch, but it’s been pretty difficult to even find watches that use internet time.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2023 @134.39 by Cobra! » Logged




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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2023 @177.40 »

but it’s been pretty difficult to even find watches that use internet time.
A good bet is to get an old Pebble e-ink watch - the official company went out of business years ago, but there is a whole indie scene that keeps the watches working and even runs a whole indie app store for them - https://apps.rebble.io/en_US/search/watchfaces/1?native=false&query=beat I still have mine somewhere!

EDIT:
Also, I threw together a quick wiki page; feel free to edit it! https://wiki.melonland.net/swatch_time
« Last Edit: March 16, 2023 @186.10 by Melooon » Logged


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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2023 @471.02 »

Thanks to @Melooon's code, I also added a time display to my website. :ozwomp:
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2023 @721.33 »

Thanks to @Melooon's code, I also added a time display to my website. :ozwomp:

Not really my code; I just added the decimal toggle  :grin:

Although, your clock is skipping a beat (literally :tongue: ) that's because you're refresh rate is set to "1000" which is the length of a second, but since swatch time does not use seconds it's out of sync (the time still displays correctly, it just skips every now and then); if you change your setInternal to something lower than "864" (centibeat length) it'll refresh and show each centibeat correctly!
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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2023 @753.02 »

Not really my code; I just added the decimal toggle  :grin:

Although, your clock is skipping a beat (literally :tongue: ) that's because you're refresh rate is set to "1000" which is the length of a second, but since swatch time does not use seconds it's out of sync (the time still displays correctly, it just skips every now and then); if you change your setInternal to something lower than "864" (centibeat length) it'll refresh and show each centibeat correctly!

Also I think you have to add the "@" at the start.

It's great seeing people here use it, though!
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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2023 @28.47 »

I setup a premade script people can use  :grin: Just past this onto your site and you'll get an accurate real-time swatch clock!

Code
<span id="swatchClock">@000</span>
<script defer src="https://melonking.net/scripts/swatchTime.js"></script>
« Last Edit: March 20, 2023 @73.22 by Melooon » Logged


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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2023 @447.56 »

I had one of the swatch best watches back then. I wonder what happened to it?

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