ZEON TALKING WATCH GUIDE
The details and user instructions given below should assist any visually impaired purchaser of the Zeon talking watch in its use and may prove to be useful information for any would-be purchasers when deciding if this item is likely to be suitable for their needs. It is not a recommendation and any purchaser of the watch does so on their own initiative solely.
ZEON TALKING WATCH
At the beginning of May 2001 I purchased an off-the-shelf talking watch from the Index shop (part of Littlewoods), which I am verry pleased with. I thought this may be of interest to many other visually impaired people as an economical personal item for layout and functional description. The watch only cost œ8.99 and has a one year guarantee. You can buy it by calling into your nearest UK Index shop or by ordering it online from the UK Index Website of www.indexshop.com.
The Zeon talking watch and timer has a good array of features and, whilst not all of them talk whilst being set, it is easy enough to operate, given accessible instructions. It has two time settings, for example, one for U.K. or US time and the second for the time elsewhere such as if you are on holiday in a different time zone.
This timepiece comes with the typical type of black plastic strap and has a black plastic case with silver metal back plate. The watch face, behind the clear round perspex glass, has three colours on it: red, light grey and black. The main part of the display, where the time is given, is at the bottom of the screen and comprises black numbers on a light grey background. Other digits on the watch's face show the current date and are at the top of the display. The size of the numbers is probably only slightly larger than standard book or utility bill size (perhaps 12 or 14 point), so may not be of use to most visually impaired persons.
The Zeon has quite good vocal output, which is reasonably loud without being too intrusive. The voice is female and the speaker, unlike any I have come across before, is not situated at the top or underneath the watch but rather along the edge of the watch, just behind the place where the near strap pin is housed.
Its specifications are approximately the same as the typical RNIB talking watch. It is about 12 mm thick (although looks slimmer because of its design), is around 37 mm across and 32 gm in weight.
Operation is by four small buttons situated at each corner of the watch around the edges. The four buttons are known as "talking" (top right), "mode" (top left), "set" (bottom right) and "adjust" (bottom left).
The buttons work as follows:
1. There are five different modes in a cycle by pressing the Mode button:
A. Press once for normal time display, known as T1 (time one). The current time will be spoken.
B. Press twice for normal time display, known as T2 (any other time zone setting you like). The current time set here will be spoken.
C. Press three times to get into timer mode. You will hear two beeps.
D. Press four times to enter alarm mode. Three beeps will be heard.
E. Press five times to reach the music mode. This time four beeps will be emitted.
2. The set button works as below:
A. Press and release it to change the time display from time one to time two and vice versa. You could also achieve this with the mode button.
B. Press and hold it down for more than 3 seconds to enter set mode before selecting an item for adjustment with the adjust button. You will hear to beeps.
3. The Adjust button operates thus:
A. In normal time display mode, press this button repeatedly to turn on or off the alarm and snooze features, i.e. when it beeps once it is off, twice is for on with no snooze and three beeps is on with snooze back-up.
B. In set mode, it adjusts the value of the item selected by the set button, e.g. time hours and minutes, alarm hours and minutes, etc.
C. In timer mode, it starts and stops the count-down.
D. In music mode, it allows you to select one of 16 different melodies. You may simply listen to these for one minute each or select any one of them as your alarm or timer notification music, in addition to being able to choose either a plain beeping noise or the traditional cock crow for this purpose. You just press the adjust button followed by the talking button to move on to the next melody and then hear it. Some of the tunes are Green Sleeves, Unchained Melody and The Sound of Silence.
Note: In Set mode, after you have selected the hour and minute of when the alarm should ring, if you press Set again, you will not be moving to seconds (there are none) but rather be moving from time one to time two and back again. This will determine whether the alarm time you have set will work with your time one or time two time.
4. The talk button operates as follows:
A. In normal time display mode, press once to hear the current time.
B. Press and hold the button to hear the current time and the timer alarm sound, e.g. beeps, crowing or music.
C. In music mode, pressing talking starts and stops playing the selected music.
D. In timer mode, it turns on and off the count-down voice announcement when there is less than one minute left. The timer returns to its original timer setting; if you press it twice the timer setting will return to all zeros for resetting.
OPERATION EXAMPLE One
To set the time there are six steps:
1. Press Mode until T1 appears on the display and the time is announced. Time one (T1) is the first time announcement you will hear. Of course, you can also do this with time two (T2).
2. Press and hold down the Set button for more than three seconds, until the hour digits flash and you hear two beeps, then press Adjust until you get to the correct hour. The hours will be spoken each time you press the adjust button.
3. Press Set again and the minute digits will flash and you will hear one beep. Then press Adjust to obtain the correct minute value. There are no seconds to be set.
4. Press set once more to enter date mode and then set the year, month and day in that order. Please note that during this date step there is no speech and no beeps to help you and that you cannot get the date verbalised after you have set it either. unfortunately, it can only be observed visually. You can just skip this step if you wish and move to 5 below.
5. Press Mode to return to time one mode.
6. Use the same procedure to set the time for time two.
OPERATION EXAMPLE Two
As the count-down timer does not speak whilst being set, I have also included an example of how to set this. It can be set to count-down from 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds. When the timer is started, it will report the state of progress periodically, until it gets to one minute and then it will start to report the count-down every five seconds to the ten seconds point before announcing each second to zero.
To set the count-down timer:
1. firstly, ensure that the timer is at zero by pressing the mode button until two beeps are heard, then press the talking button twice to zero the time.
2. Now press and hold the set button until it beeps twice, when you will be in set mode.
3. You are now in timer hour mode, so press the adjust button and count the beeps to the hour you want, e.g. press it three times to reach the three hour point, then press the set button once to move on to minutes mode and press adjust until the required minute point is reached. Now press set again to enter seconds mode and again press adjust until the required number of seconds have been counted off. If you only want to set an alarm time of a few seconds, you can just press the set button twice to jump past hours and minutes before pressing the adjust button.
4. Now complete the setting by pressing the mode button once.
5. To start the timer count-down, press mode until timer mode (two beeps) is reached and then press adjust to commence the count-down.
6. If you wish to stop the regular announcement of elapsed seconds during the last 60 seconds of the count-down, just press the talking button once.
Note: Whilst the Zeon does not have a specific hourly report feature, you can nevertheless achieve hourly beeps by use of the count-down timer. This is because, if you set the timer to its maximum (23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds), and then commence the count-down, you will receive a beep on each and every hour until you reach the 23 elapsed hour point, when you will then start to hear count-down reports every ten minutes for the last hour until you get to the one minute point.
These two examples should provide enough guidance to enable you to work out how to adjust the alarm for yourself (it does talk during this process) and work through the 16 melodies.
The Zeon watch uses one lithium battery serial number Cr2025.