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Tag Archives: Clocks

Clock Parasol

Clock Parasol (Images courtesy Kota Nezu)
By Andrew Liszewski

Don’t like wearing a watch?… Or um, carrying a cellphone? Or looking up at a bank sign, or any kind of digital display for that matter? Well you don’t have to worry about awkwardly asking strangers for the time as long as you carry this sundial-like parasol. I’m pretty sure the designer, Kota Nezu, specifically refers to it as a parasol instead of an umbrella since using it to gauge the time is dependent on being able to find the sun in the sky, which isn’t always that easy on a rainy, overcast day.

Like with a sundial, calculating the time requires you to know where north and south lie, so there’s a handy compass attached to the handle if your outdoor skills aren’t up to the task. You basically position yourself so that north points at you, and south points at the 12 on the number/grid pattern printed on the underside of the parasol. The vertical lines of said grid indicate the hours, while the horizontal lines indicate the Summer & Winter solstice and the Spring & Autumn equinox. So roughly gauging the current time simply requires you to find where the sun shines through on the grid. The Clock Parasol does appear to be available for sale too, starting at ~$35 (€25) though only for distributors and retailers which you means you can’t just buy one.

[ Clock Parasol ] VIA [ I New Idea ]

Lunchtime Clock Adds A Few Extra Minutes To Your Break

By Chris Scott Barr

Ah, lunchtime. It’s that period of time during the week where you can stop working for a while and relax. Grab a little food, maybe catch up on some reading or surfing the net. Unfortunately it never seems to last long enough. One hacker decided to solve this problem by putting together a clock that speeds up just before noon, and slows down a little before 1.

This serves to give you 12 extra minutes of your lunch break each day, or a full hour over the course of a week. A clever hack, indeed. Unfortunately unless this is the clock sitting in your boss’s office (and you don’t have to punch out for your break) it’s pretty useless. You’ll just end up being that guy that spends too much time on lunch. If you feel like making your own, you can find out how over at Instructables.

[ Instructables ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

DOTKLOK Open Source Digital Clock

DOTKLOK Open Source Digital Clock (Images courtesy Andrew O’Malley)
By Andrew Liszewski

They might be cheap and reliable, but the name brand digital clocks you can get at your local big box electronics store aren’t really designed for tinkering. Now obviously that’s probably not a feature at the top of everybody’s wish-list, but those who prefer to do-it-themselves, and like to be able to customize their gear, will find the DOTKLOK an appealing option.

Designed by Andrew O’Malley, the motivation behind the DOTKLOK was to create a clock that could tell time in a variety of different ways, whether through standard numbers, words and even animations. It’s powered by an ATmega328 microprocessor running the Arduino bootloader which allows it to be easily updated and/or customized, and the 24×16 LED display allows for a high-degree of creativity, while still having a bit of retro charm. The DOTKLOK kit is available from Andrew via Etsy for $150 with either red or green LEDs used for the display, and an experienced builder can put it together in about 90 minutes. However, if soldering and wiring isn’t your thing, there are also pre-built DOTKLOKs available, but they’ll set you back $200.

[ DOTKLOK ] VIA [ GeekAlerts ]

5 To 9 Clock Emphasizes Those Few Important Hours When You’re Not Sleeping Or Working

5 To 9 Clock (Images courtesy Lamplabs)
By Andrew Liszewski

18 years of schooling taught me that watching the clock makes time run about half as fast as normal, but this 5-to-9 clock actually uses that to its advantage. Created by Lamplabs, a new design company with an emphasis on lighting, the 5-to-9 is your basic circular analog clock, but with the sections from 9pm to 5pm removed. That way it only emphasizes the hours when you’re not at work or not sleeping. And if you spend that precious amount of time staring at this clock, it will make it seem like a lot longer than just 4 hours.

The clock’s also got a lead weight on a chain hanging off it that “symbolically represents the counterbalance required to achieve a measured life.” So yeah, that part is a little unnecessary and kinda preachy, but I still think the clock has a clever design. And if you agree you’ll want to head over to Kickstarter where you can pledge/pre-order one in white for $85, or your choice of cherry veneer, bamboo or maple plywood finish for $100. Just keep in mind it’s one of those sites that requires a minimal amount of promised funds before it goes into production, and with just $195 of this project’s $2,500 goal pledged, I have a feeling it might not ever see the light of day.

[ Kickstarter – 5 to 9 clock ] VIA [ Freshome ]

Salubrion Enso Pearl Timer

Salubrion Enso Pearl Timer (Images courtesy Salubrion)
By Andrew Liszewski

The standalone timer is yet another gadget made almost obsolete by app-capable smartphones, but the Enso Pearl from Salubrion manages to make a strong case as to why you’d still want to keep one around. The most obvious reason is the timer’s stylish circular design (enso is a Japanese word meaning circle after all) and the ring which is drawn onto the LCD display as the timer counts down, providing a more graphical way to visualize how much time is left.

The Enso Pearl seems particularly targeted at those who like to meditate or do yoga since it can be programmed with up to 50 interval timers right after another for taking you through a meditative sequence. But it also serves as a compact and relaxing travel alarm since it plays the chimes of Tibetan or Japanese singing bowls instead of some incredibly annoying electronic screetch. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if all that’s worth $99, or if you’ll just stick with the basic timer in the iPhone’s clock app.

[ Salubrion Enso Pearl Timer ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]

‘Time Paper’ Clock Posters Make It Easy To Redecorate

Time Paper Clock Posters (Images courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

Wall clocks are pretty much just a decorative item these days, and these ‘Time Paper’ poster clocks make frequent redecorating easy and guilt-free. They’re quite literally just composed of a poster printed with a clock face design and a simple clock mechanism hidden behind it. When you get sick of the design you just rip down the poster and recycle it, and then throw up a new poster with a handful of thumb tacks. It’s just too bad they range in price from ~$63 (¥5,250) up to ~$88 (¥7,350) from

[ Time Paper Clock Posters ] VIA [ Design Blog :: SPGRA ]

Maarten Baas’ Real Time Analog/Digital Clock Installation Is Coming To Blu-ray

By Andrew Liszewski

If you’re a fan of unusual clocks and leaving your hi-def TV running for hours on end, you might want to look into the Blu-ray version of Maarten Baas’ Real Time exhibition which was shown in Milan earlier this year. According to BLTD, the Blu-ray disc will include 12 hours of what appears to be your standard red segmented LCD display, but turns out to be a cleverly backlit artpiece with someone in the background physically painting and erasing the segments to change the time. As clocks go it looks like it’s horribly inaccurate, but as an art piece I find it oddly fascinating to watch… Will you look at the time!

[ Maarten Baas ] VIA [ Better Living Through Design ]

Mr. Clock Is Starved For Attention

By Andrew Liszewski

From a distance, Mr. Clock appears to be uncooperative and even stubborn. Since he assumes you’re not paying attention to him, instead of showing the time, his segmented display will just show random, nonsensical configurations. But when you get right up close to him, he’ll immediately start performing his time keeping and reporting duties by displaying the current time. He was designed by Hye-Yeon Park as an art piece more than anything, but he also finally answers that age-old question; if a clock’s ticking away in a gallery and there’s no one around to see it, does it really display the time?

[ STUDIO HYE-YEON PARK – Mr. Clock ] VIA [ MoCo Loco ]

MACH ART Paradox Reverse Flowing Hourglass Just Might Turn Back Time

MACH ART Paradox Hourglass (Image courtesy Implex Online Store)
By Andrew Liszewski

You can file this one under desk crap, but as desk crap goes, it’s a rather clever combination of an hourglass ‘sand’ timer and those immiscible liquid devices. Instead of sand, this hourglass timer, which runs for about 30 minutes, uses an orange colored liquid that is lighter than the clear liquid, so when flipped upside down the hourglass appears to run in reverse. The sand effect is more convincing if you give the thing a healthy shake before flipping it so that thousands of tiny bubbles are created, and though I’m no scientist, I’m pretty sure if you use it during a lightning storm, or on the day of the equinox, it will reverse time. Get it from the Implex Online Store for about $36. (¥3,150)

[ MACH ART Paradox Reverse Flowing Hourglass ] VIA [ Impress Watch ]