HK08 Interview: Dogn

The Dogn by Cognitime

The Dogn by Cognitime

Christian Barmen with one of the designers, Tord Sandholt

Christian Barmen with one of the designers Tord Sandholt

Recently there has been a trend towards digital ambient watches that play with the concept of telling time. Dogn is much more than that.

It’s roots lie in a Norwegian concept to help people with cognitive disabilities who would have trouble reading time in the conventional format. Dogn takes that concept and turns it into an elegant watch that also syncs your calendar and maps your entire schedule on its timeline.

We recently talked with Christian Barmen, the company’s co-founder about his involvement with the brand:

The Dogn syncs your schedule from the computer. It will sync with Google Calendar.

The Dogn syncs your schedule with your computer. It will sync with Google Calendar.

Adnan: You don’t come from a background in the wristwatch industry so what inspired you to jump in?

Christian: I was inspired to jump in when we saw this concept the first time. I have for a long time been a watch enthusiast, but only as a consumer.

Since I was 21 I have been working in a very international business, and a part of my everyday life was airports, so obviously the interest for watches had good conditions..

When this concept was presented, and we could envision what this concept could be like inside a beautiful wristwatch, then I was hooked.

Christian Barmen

Christian Barmen

Adnan: How did you come across this concept?

Christian: I first saw the concept when the inventors came and showed it to me and two investor friends. I brought one of my good friends who works in marketing and we sat down for the presentation.

During the presentation of the time telling concept, we saw that this was an idea that we could commercialize. My friend actually quit his job based on that meeting and started as MD in Cognitime.

The people from Cognita AS in Oslo are behind the invention, and our chairwoman is Mona Falck-Andersen who is the inventor herself.

Adnan: what are some of the challenges you have faced while developing the watch?

Christian: he he, there have been many challenges in this process. The first was of course the financials, it takes time to develop a new product, and time is money. Our watch has got an Operating System inside, and this had to be written from scratch.

Our circular menu system, demanded alot from the OLED panel and resolution, so we have spent a whole lot of time in tweaking the graphics.

Battery capacity was another challenge, to run an OLED with the touch function demands alot of current.

Since this watch is our first product, we had to develop the whole business plan with all that includes, and not only focus on the watch development, and that have been challenging!

A large scale model of Dogn with the limited edition packaging for the initial launch.

A model of Dogn with a limited edition packaging for the initial launch

Adnan: What is your view of the recent advances in the Wristwatch industry and how do you think Dogn fits in?

Christian: This is a tricky question for an outsider like myself. I think there is room for both the crafted timepieces with mechanical movement, and the new innovations such as Dogn, Nooka, Solsuno etc.

I think Døgn fits in where people want something brand new, created in fine materials, but still reflects the young and curious nature of todays young profesionals.

The advances in battery, panel, connectivity technology etc will give us many new innovations, and we will see technology like E-ink and OLED become more widespread.

Christian Barmen (far left) and Friends

Christian Barmen (far left)

When we designed Døgn, we had to really focus and cut all applications that was not deemed as “killer app”. This was due to our believe that companies will be able to put mobile phones, sms alerts, Mp4 etc in the watches, and we could probably not compete with the fast pace factories can churn out new fancy apps. So we focused on our time telling and calender function, together with basic wristwatch features such as chronograph and alarm.


The Dogn Booth

The Dogn Booth

We hope our concept and design and focus on finer materials will set us apart from the “swiss army watch” with tv and sms and prepaid phone.

Adnan: And finally, When is the Dogn coming out?

Christian: We have scheduled a release just after new year. This is based on remaining work and debugging. But I have learnt that in this world it is dangerous to commit to a date. Specially when software is involved!


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