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I'm updating the forum with some new stickies - member "Apollo83" suggested I write a glosarry to explain certain things - so here it is - it will be updated as I find time.

ABC is short for "altimeter, barometer and compass" - an ABC-watch is a watch that combines those features - all ABC-watches also have a thermometer - which is needed for the internal calculations of the watch but is however fairly useless while wearing the watch on the wrist. ABC-watches are made by a number of companies - best-known are probably Suunto (which have their own sub-forum) and Casio. But there's also ABC-watches from Timex, Tech4o, Techtrail (aka Highgear), etc.

And Alti-Lock locks the altimeter on a AB(C)-watch as the name suggests - it can be done manually or automatically - once the alti-lock is engaged the watch will interpret any change in air pressure as a weather change and the displayed altitude will be the same. Some watches - like the Suunto Core - have automatic alti-locks or automatic profiles - which means the watch will interpret the change of air-pressure depending on the speed of the change - if pressure changes slowly the watch will "assume" it's a weather change and will only update the displayed pressure while elevation stays the same. If the pressure is changing rapidly the watch will interpret it as a change in height and act accordingly.

Digital watches
Seems to be obvious - digital watches are watches with a digital read-out - most of them are quartz watches but there's also some mechanical watches with a digital read-out. Technically speaking it's a little more complicated than that to define what "digital" is but this is the common use of the term "digital watch" and we're simply gonna go with that. The first digital watches had LEDs which were very power-hungry and only showed the time when pressing a button. They were replaced with LCDs which use less power. Nowadays there's also E-Ink displays which have a great contrast low power consumption but so far a low refresh rate - which makes them not suited for fast changing digits e.g. while using a stopwatch.

E-Ink (added by xevious)
(Electrophoretic Ink) is a specific proprietary type of electronic "paper" manufactured by E Ink Corporation, the company that owns the patent on the technology filed in 1996. The technology is really fascinating, as the quality of display makes it look like printed material. Rather than requiring a constant power source as in the case with LCD and LED displays, the energy used to form the pixels (212 ppi in the latest version) is all that is required--absolutely zero to sustain it. This is great for e-Readers (electronic books) and for other displays where the information doesn't change rapidly. The technology has migrated to timepieces in limited numbers. SEIKO and Citizen were the first major watch makers to utilize it. The only inherent problem with e-ink technology is for timers that show 10ths or 100ths of a second. The e-ink technology can't repaint the digits fast enough to look reasonably well, not to mention the energy overhead in doing so. And creating a split screen where one small LCD area handles data with rapid digit changes makes for an undesirable engineering challenge, in addition to the cost of providing two very different forms of display mechanisms. In all likelihood, since the e-ink displays are still in their infancy, there will be technological improvements to facilitate rapid random access repainting of specific areas without a major hit on power consumption. Either that, or the makers could just use a flashing ellipse in the fractional digits area, then display the captured data when the stop button is pressed, because that data is really only relevant when the timing stops--not while it's running. Visit Wikipedia for more detailed information, or go right to the source: E-Ink Corporation.

Many ABC-watches offer MSLP - it's short for "mean sea level pressure" and is the barometric standard - normally 1013 hPa is "neutral" - anything below that is a low and if the pressure is higher it's a high. A watch that offers MSLP calculates that value from the absolute pressure it's measuring with the sensors. It's of course not really the current air pressure at sea level (only if you're actually there of course in which case absolute pressure and MSLP will be the same anyway)- it's just calculated to that height so we have a standard by which to define "low" and "high". On watches with MSLP you can usually use that to calibrate the watch - if you know the current MSLP (from a weather site on the internet for example) you can put it in the watch and the watch will calculate the current altitude based on the absolute pressure it measures. It also works the other way round - by putting in the current elevation the watch can calculate the MSLP. Unfortunately no Casio ABC-watch to this date has MSLP. But most other brands do. It gives a nice indicator about the weather to come and it makes calibration easier.

Smartwatches are basically small wristop computers which can connect with a smartphone - but AFAIK there's also stand-alone smartwatches. They offer a high grade of customization - like infinite number of alarms, programable timers, etc. But they also have a high power consumption because of that and need to be frequently recharged like a cellphone.

That's it for now - feel free to contact me for any corrections, etc. I want this to be put together by the members of this forum and not just copied from Wikipedia or anything - the explanations don't need to be too long either.

cheers, Sedi :)
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