Posted by: GW7AAV | June 27, 2009

Morse 21st Century style

Morse code could once again be making a resurgence but this time with the texting and Twitter generation. This may be old news to some but Toshiba has teamed up with American microprocessor giant Intel to produce Clique, a handheld, thumb-operated device that uses only three keys. Introduced in Japan at the 2008 Microprocessor Forum Japan (MPF Japan) ‘Clique’ is the size and shape of a lollipop or a disconnected, miniature joystick and uses Morse as a means to send texts to social networking sites like Twitter. Unfortunately this is a one way device and users get replies via normal email channels. Earlier attempts to create a Morse-based device were stymied by the variable length of the Morse characters, which made it hard to adapt to automated circuits. Toshiba’s solution is the three keys: one for the ‘dot,’ one for the ‘dash,’ and a third that acts as a space-bar between letters –- two ‘clicks’ between words.

It is only available in Japan initially and even if it takes off over there I cannot see hoards of teenagers rushing out to buy one, but you never know this could be the next generation of radio amateurs in the making.

I am a bit miffed that hours of scouring the Internet could not uncover a single picture of one.

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