A watch is one of those things we take for granted. Everyone has it, everyone uses it, and everyone needs it.
One watch looks pretty much like the other and none look so remarkably different as to tell them apart. If they’re analogue, you’ve got three hands running round and round the face of the watch. If they’re digital, you see a bunch of numbers flashing on your screen. Enter, Cosmic Watch —
Cosmic Watch breaks that mould, and boy, does it look stunning!
According to their official description, the Cosmic Watch “…is two in one: a world clock and an astronomical clock.” However, I found that it is so much more than that. But let’s start with the stated.
Real-Time World Clock
Obviously, because it’s a clock, it shows you world time. Nothing special there. But what’s really unique is the way it shows you the time.
You open up the app and you’re greeted with a huge globe, just hanging there in space. If you’ve enabled GPS on your phone, the app will recognise your current location and display the time for it.
But that’s not all it does. If you’re the kind that has itchy fingers, just play around with the globe. Twist it, turn it, and flip it around. When you tap anywhere on the globe, the current time for that place will pop up. The app covers over 5000 cities, across the 7 continents.
Real-Time Astronomical Clock
Furthermore, with a few taps, you can enable a whole lot of details for your globe. The astronomical clock shows you an overlap of the stars and constellations around the Earth. It also shows the relative positions of planets in our Solar System, along with their scaled down trajectories.
You can speed up and slow down the rotation of the Earth to know exactly how (and where) the Sun will be in the space when the day ends, or when the seasons change, or even know where the other planets will be when 2016 comes to a close. Or perhaps you’d want to know what stars will be over your head when you go to camping to the foothills of the Himalayas!
Virtual Space-Time Travel
This is the feature that I found myself using more than anything else. Cosmic Watch allows you to travel across space and time. I will repeat. It allows you to travel across space and time. You can go back in time and see celestial positions of planets and the sun for a given time. You can even go ahead in time! You can watch the exact way the Sun will set on your birthday next year; or the how to sun rose on your last anniversary.
You can also play around in the Solar System, zipping along with different plants and see how the Earth (or the Sun) looks from there. Have you wondered how a year would feel like if you were on Jupiter? Well, now you have a way of finding out.
This is actually a combination of features such as Celestial Navigation, Spacial Orientation, Digital orrery, etc. And the combined experience will blow you away, especially if you’re viewing it on a gorgeous Retina display iPad! It’s just wow!
A Great Teaching Tool
More than a substitute for a watch, Cosmic Watch works best when used as a teaching tool. While kids are most likely to be wowed by the visual treat it offers. even fully grown adults will find it hard to resist flying across the Space at the twirl of a finger. The perspective the app provides of the Solar System is unmatched by any geography book or atlas.