Use An Atomic Clock For Timing Synchronization

by Jon Davis 7. October 2010 01:44

We use GPS to map geographical data. And we use snapshots of time to track past events. Why not use atomic clock synchronization across the board to synchronize high-precision live data?

For example, in 3D television, the shutter speed of untinted 3D glasses is 60Hz per eye, and 120Hz on the TV, but the glasses and the TV have to be synchronized with each other. If instead the glasses and the TV were synchronized with an atomic clock down to high precision accuracy, one could travel around the world with the same 3D glasses and successfully view 3D content on different brands of 3D televisions with the same glasses, assuming all these televisions also used atomic clock synchronization.

Consider also how handy it would be for video editing if high definition video recorders stored high precision, atomic clock synchronized timestamps with each video frame. With a tap of a button in Adobe Premiere Pro (assuming it also supported this) you could synchronize multiple simultaneously recorded video streams without any special SMPTE time code synchronization techniques or anything like that. You just sync on the UTC timestamp.

I think it’s a fabulous idea. Remember, I blogged about it first! My idea! Mine! :)

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About the author

Jon Davis (aka "stimpy77") has been a programmer, developer, and consultant for web and Windows software solutions professionally since 1997, with experience ranging from OS and hardware support to DHTML programming to IIS/ASP web apps to Java network programming to Visual Basic applications to C# desktop apps.
Software in all forms is also his sole hobby, whether playing PC games or tinkering with programming them. "I was playing Defender on the Commodore 64," he reminisces, "when I decided at the age of 12 or so that I want to be a computer programmer when I grow up."

Jon was previously employed as a senior .NET developer at a very well-known Internet services company whom you're more likely than not to have directly done business with. However, this blog and all of have no affiliation with, and are not representative of, his former employer in any way.

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