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Times Are Really Changing on the Internet

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RALEIGH — The Internet is changing the way we live and work. Now, it may change the way we keep track of time.

Since the Internet is a "virtual reality" and knows no time barrier, why not have the world on the same time?

Internet time is represented by the "at" sign followed by three numbers, @ 037 for example. The concept is based on an idea created by theSwatchwatch company.

"If everybody in the world can be on the same time period, it would make things easier for communicating," says shopper Robin Coxe.

Possibly, but international time zones are certainly confusing. With Internet time there are no zones and no geographic boundaries.

"It's really convenient to have a way that everybody can coordinate the times they want to do business or just to chat on the Internet," saysWatch Worldmanager John Stuckey said.

Swatch sells watches showing Internet time.

"They saw the opportunity there, and if they hadn't done it somebody else very well might have," Stuckey said.

When it is midnight in Switzerland, home of Swatch, it is @000 all over the world. The beats start there.

"The Internet time is just taking the day, breaking it up into 1,000 single units, which all comes out to about 1 minute and 26 seconds."

Internet time can be confusing so Swatch has put both Internet time and good old standard time on the watch.

Will Internet time be accepted? It is already showing up on many Web sites around the world.

Figuring out what the "real" time is depends on where you are in the world. Some of the founders of the Internet back Internet time saying cyberspace has no boundaries, no distance and no limits.


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