Jumping Jack Flash is a prototype watch by an award winning Design firm, Xefirostarch, that compresses time in terms of technology by utilizing the most essential condition of tracking – movement and displacement. The metronome arm, a reinvention of the hourglass, combines physical movement with digital display and marks the passing of time through its hourly rotation and the reconfiguration of the interior component or bubbles. The time of the day appears as a luminescent projection on on the interior face of the arm, through the LED display wired into the bubbles. Multiple simultaneous scalar conditions of movement produce the effect of a hybridized digital-mechanical environment.
Watches are like Wine. They taste as good as their packaging, which should explain why this particular watch chain store caught my eye. Based in the Netherlands, Watch! gives itself a timewarp look by adding morphing windows on the outside and adopting a similar packaging concept, where the produce is slide into a silver bag, vacummized and sealed.
Put together a nationwide competition where you ask emerging innovators to depict the future of seamless mobility, and you are bound to have a scenario or two where the wristwatch retains its mantle as the interface of choice. Take the MOTOFWRD competition for example, one of their finalist enteries involves a swiss army equivalent gadget that combines your phone, GPS system, credit card and pda into one special inteface that combines a specially-equipped glasses and a wristwatch. (Read in Detail (PDF))
This gorgeous minimal wristwatch by Nexxon Design was the winner of the FORM Design Award in Frankfurt this year. This design comes in both in a Japanese Automatic Movement (Citizen Miyota 8205) or a Swiss Ronda Quartz Movement. Available under the name of Prima Vista for a price between 130-198 Euros.
The Sundial Watch created by Artist Amy Franceschini of the design colllective, Future farmers, is a reactionary sculpture to the ubiquity of technological devices in our daily lives. Amy hopes that her watch will remind us of what we are leaving behind – our reliance on nature for our Swiss Army gadgets. She intends it as a reminder to depend on nature because while our technological crutches may break down, the sun, on the other hand, will always rise in the morning and set in the evening, and the length of the winter days will always be shorter than the summer days. (More Photos)
Seasoned Inventor Greg E. Blonder writes in about his concept watch called the “About Time” that does away with accuracy and only tells “approximate” time. “Most of the Swiss producers look somewhat askance when you suggest a watch that tells only *approximate* time”, he writes in. Digital precision, according to him, is not only unnecessary but a disadvantage. A more human time scale is an approximate phrase like “It’s about 1 pm” instead of a 12:58 am. “Digital watches make it all too easy to miss a meeting believing it is closer to noon than to one.” he adds. So instead of showing the accurate time, the About Time LCD displays the nearest hour in the center of the watch i.e. It’s about 1pm, It’s Around 6 o’clock, Slight After 3, Nearly 5 fourty five. etc.
The watch isn’t available commercially yet, but Greg hopes to have it out soon. When I first received this in my email, I sent Greg a link to a similar watch by Fossil to which he replied: “That’s disturbing, because I contacted Fossil twice about a license 4 years ago. But, as far as I can tell, the Gehry watch still displays “exact” time, just with phrases. My watch displays “approximate time”, with a wide variety of words and colloquialisms. As does the linear display- the idea is to break the tyranny of rigid time- “”its about half past 10″, rather than “27 past 10″.
As digital technology continues to slide into the fashion accessory category, I think it should be important to take note of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates’s speech at this year’s CES show:
“Technology has revolutionized how we listen to music, watch TV, play games, communicate and manage and share personal information,” he said. “2006 is going to be a big year for the digital lifestyle.”