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Alert Abroad(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 01,2008)

Travel Alarm Clocks

Photo
Diffany Development Co Ltd adds ingenious functions and features to its travel alarm clocks such as this clock that clips on and has an emergency light (right)

Prospects of oversleeping or missing essential appointments disappear for users of the newest travel alarm clocks from Hong Kong-based suppliers

Designers are going the extra mile to meet travellers' needs, adding new functions and features to travel alarm clocks to enhance their usefulness without sacrificing compactness or convenience.

Examples are models from trading company American Pop Ltd, which selects the "most desirable" merchandise from factories on the Chinese mainland. Each of its travel alarm clocks is "special", says Director Eric Kong.

Model AP3361, a colour-changing LCD clock, has seven-colour lighting that holds steady, changes regularly or disappears at the push of buttons. "It features every colour in the rainbow," says Mr Kong. "There's an option for a USB plug so that the clock works with computers.

"We provided this idea to the factory, and I like it a lot," he says. "It is a progression from an earlier product, a seven-colour pen that sold well for us."

This chameleon-like clock, measuring 13.5x5.5x6.5cm and ready to stand on a desk or bedside table, is priced at US$1.99 FOB Shenzhen each. With the USB plug and batteries included, the unit price rises to US$2.07.

Model AP3491, a two-sided clock and calculator, easily performs double duty. "This one's extra special," says Mr Kong. "As two products combined into one, it's very useful."

A functional design allows this item to stand on a table as a clock or to rest on a desk as a calculator. As a travel alarm clock, it has extra features like temperature, snooze function, a birthday reminder and countdown displays. With dimensions of 11.5x6x3.5cm, it operates on two AAA batteries. The cost is US$1.59 FOB Xiamen each.

Model AP3268, a digital LCD clock, appeals for its tiny size - just 8x8x1cm. "It's small and easy to place in luggage or a pocket," says Mr Kong. Along with the time, it has a calendar, music alarm and thermometer, plus birthday and countdown functions. Held upright by a plastic stand, the item goes for US$1.20 FOB China each.

Consistent with the trend to maximize convenience for end-users, another company, Area Plus Ltd, offers model HCL105, an LCD alarm clock with a manicure set inside the same aluminium casing. This combo item measures 11x5.8x2cm.

"It's compact," says Managing Director Kingdy Li. "The manicure set is big enough to use, but not enough to become difficult to carry."

The clock-manicure set suits most markets, but shouldn't go into hand luggage at airports where the manicure set's scissors may spark security concerns, Ms Li advises.

"We do a lot of electronic gadgets," she adds. "We focus on products for promotional purposes so it's a wide range. We do our own designs and tooling, and an associated factory on the mainland works with us."

She points out the company's travel alarm clocks are compact and popular. "Sometimes it's not useful to add more features because the clocks may get too bulky. So we concentrate on displays and colours, on making the clocks slimmer, more attractive and user-friendly," Ms Li notes.

Area Plus also offers model HCL6089, an LCD alarm clock with dual-time displays. "Users who travel can set the time for a destination and also for home so that they need not calculate time differences," Ms Li says of the 4.6x4.9x2.2cm timepiece. "This is our smallest travel alarm clock."

Model HCL6068, measuring 5.5x5.5x1cm, is a classic-style travel alarm clock with a calendar and indoor temperature display. "It's multifunctional, very slim and made from metal," says Ms Li. "It's the slimmest metal alarm clock on the market."

The setting buttons grace the side of the clock, which comes with a pouch with lining that matches the timepiece's colour.

"With so many travel alarm clocks on the market, we work hard at little details like the size, matching colours and pouches," says Ms Li. "Customers appreciate that. Our attention to the little details helps to create quality."

Also determined to make a difference is Yick Li Industrial (HK) Co Ltd, which supplies travel alarm clocks with voices of their own, such as models YL-883 and YL-886. "These talking alarm clocks make voice announcements of the time," says Sales Executive Cherie Wong. "That's their best feature.

"At the press of a button, they announce the time, which really helps the elderly or people with poor eyesight. Maybe it's too dark to see the time or you're concentrating on something else. Pressing a button allows you to listen to the time," she explains. "The time announcements come in a clear and loud human voice that's good quality."

The talking clocks have other advantages too. They each operate on two AA batteries and have three alarm sounds: beeps, roosters or cuckoos. "They're popular overseas because they're portable and have big time displays," Ms Wong advises. "Our customers can order in any colours they like."

Among Best Time Mfg Ltd's offerings are compact world-time alarm clocks with maps and dual-time displays, as well as a model combining a dual-time alarm clock with a card-holder.

With such convenient and reliable devices close at hand, travellers can now bid farewell to the nightmare of oversleeping and missing important events.

TEXT BY JOHN CAIRNS

FAST FACT

American Pop Ltd
Rm E, 8/F
Shing Lee Commercial Bldg
6-12 Wing Kut St
Central
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2563-2172
Fax: 852-2591-6464
Email:
sam@americanpop.com.hk
Web: www.americanpop.com.hk
Year Established: 1995
Major Product Categories: clocks, watches, gifts & premiums
Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: 5,000-10,000 pieces
Monthly Production Capacity: -
Delivery Time: 30 days
Factory Size & Location: Ningbo
Workforce: -
   
Area Plus Ltd
Rm 1501
Stanhope House
734-738 King's Rd
Quarry Bay
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-3105-2320
Fax: 852-3105-2323
Email:
area@areaplus.com.hk
Web: www.areaplus.com.hk
Year Established: 2001
Major Product Categories: desktop electronics, games, travelling items
Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: -
Monthly Production Capacity: -
Delivery Time: 45-60 days
Factory Size & Location: -
Workforce: -
   
Best Time Mfg Ltd
Rm 1, 3/F
Canny Ind Bldg
33 Tai Yau St
San Po Kong, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2728-2988
Fax: 852-2728-9298
Email:
bestime@netvigator.com
Web: www.bestimeind.com
Year Established: 1996
Major Product Categories: calculators, clocks, radios, game sets & electronic products
Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: 2,000 pieces
Monthly Production Capacity: 300,000 pieces
Delivery Time: 35 days
Factory Size & Location: 4,000 square metres; Shenzhen
Workforce: 250
   
Diffany Development Co Ltd
Unit C1, 3/F
Yip Win Fty Bldg
10 Tsun Yip Lane
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2152-9932
Fax: 852-2111-0712
Email:
info@diffany.com.hk
Web: www.diffany.com.hk
Year Established: 2002
Major Product Categories: clocks, laser levels, radios, fat analyzers, hub clocks, timers, phone holders
Brands & Certificates: i LOBO
Minimum Order: 5,000 pieces
Monthly Production Capacity: 100,000 pieces
Delivery Time: 40 days
Factory Size & Location: Qi Shi Zhen, Dongguan
Workforce: 300
   
Tak Shun (Lam's) Co Ltd
Unit 9, 32/F
Cable TV Tower
9 Hoi Shing Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2419-8831
Fax: 852-2408-1575
Email:
info@takshun.com.hk
Web: www.takshun.com.hk
Year Established: 1992
Major Product Categories: calculators, watches, clocks, games, telephones
Brands & Certificates: Taksun, Kadio, ISA; ISO 9002
Minimum Order: 5,000 pieces
Monthly Production Capacity: more than 5,000,000 pieces
Delivery Time: 30-45 days
Factory Size & Location: 70,000 square metres; Fujian
Workforce: 8,000
   
Yick Li Industrial (HK) Co Ltd
Rms 1809-10
Nan Fung Centre
264-298 Castle Peak Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2411-2558
Fax: 852-2412-0387
Email:
info@yickli.com
Web: www.yickli.com
Year Established: 1981
Major Product Categories: clocks
Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: 1,000 pieces
Monthly Production Capacity: -
Delivery Time: 50 days
Factory Size & Location: Dongguan
Workforce: -