A talking clock is a timekeeping device that uses sound to notify users of the current time. It may also be referred to as a speaking clock or auditory clock. Talking clocks have different designs depending on their intended use; some are designed as devices for the visually impaired, others are intended to help children learn to tell time, while others are simply designed like traditional clocks with the option to speak the time aloud. This is typically for alarm purposes.
One of the most common uses for a talking clock is for a timekeeping device for the blind or visually impaired. These clocks generally announce the time at set intervals, such as every hour or half hour. They also typically have large, simple buttons that can be pressed to hear the time on demand, or to set an alarm. A talking clock designed for the visually impaired may or may not have a traditional clock face; these are offered in both analog and digital versions, with large, prominent numbers.
The second type of talking clock is one designed to help a child learn to tell time. This type of clock may be designed to appeal to children, and may be decorated using fun colors or cartoon characters. It will typically have a digital or analog clock face with larger numbers than usual, and may also announce the time with the press of a button. Some of these clocks may also ask children questions with the push of a button, such as "What time will it be in 30 minutes?" This can help children become accustomed to using clocks.
Another type of talking clock is a more traditional alarm clock. These clocks are typically digital, but rather than sounding a standard alarm such as a beep or turning the radio on to play, the clock will instead announce the time repeatedly until it is shut off. Some of these clocks may have other innovative features as well; one particular design of alarm clock is built on wheels, so when the alarm sounds, it rolls off the table and rolls around the room, forcing the owner to get out of bed and turn it off.
Novelty clocks may also feature auditory speaking abilities as well. Some of these may feature talking cartoon characters, animals, or fortune tellers, for example. Talking clocks are convenient and useful devices that may be used for many different needs; most may be powered by an electrical plug with a back-up battery system.