Designer Mac Funamizu’s ‘Touch n Know The Time’ clock has triangles on the side of the shell that move so you can tell whether you have time left to sleep before the alarm rings. If they are close, you have to get out of bed real soon and if they are far apart, you have lots of time left. The clock was inspired by the alien bomb countdown in the movie “Independence Day”.
In a bid to make timekeeping ‘interesting’, Inventor John Taylor has created a £1m mechanical clock called the “Time Eator” that has no hands or numbers. It features a giant grasshopper and has 60 slits cut on its face from where a light shows the time.
The Grasshopper is more than just a decoration. It moves around the clock, each step marking a second. Every time it moves, it triggers a blue flashing light that travels across the face until it stops at the current hour and minute. The clock is only accurate once every five minutes.
The Grasshopper metaphor was a tribute to English clockmaker Johan Harrison that had invented an internal mechanism that allowed the clock to move its gear at every swing of a pendulum in a grandfather clock. He had called it the grasshopper escapement. According to Dr. Taylor, he took that concept and turned the clock inside out so you could see the seconds being ‘eaten up by the grasshopper’.
Japanese Design collective, N.O.L have a thing for off beat clocks as you can see from the amount of concepts they’ve developed including two where they combined stools with clocks. The first concept is called the Tape Measure Clock that show the current time not only from the front but also from the side.
The Dim clock
The Dim clock indicates the time with LED behind the fabric.
Felt Clock and Stool
The Felt Clock and Stool is an unusual combination where the face of the stool can be reused as a clock.
The ho.ta.ru stool makes a better combo because you can use it as a clock and as a seat. There is LED underneath the seat fabric that shows the time.
The Split splits the two hands with one hand showing only the hour and the other, the minute.
And finally, N.O.L’s sole clock that has been released commercially – The Peep which hides the entire watch face except for the current time. You can buy one from here.
Designer Ross McBride has always had this thing for clocks even though he isn’t from the watch and clock industry. Most of his work usually remains in the concept stage even though he has launched his own watch brand.
In the first of the three concepts, The Aitkenhead Clock features a clockface where the hour hand keeps time from the clock’s center while the minute hand orbits around. The minute hand is actually fixed to the surface which rotates.
The Sinking Clock
The Sinking Clock that appears to be lodged into your desk or your floor depending on where you use it.
The Wave Clock
And finally, the Wave clock which is part timepiece, and part kinetic sculpture. Its hands are ball bearings moved by magnets below the clock’s surface.
Cone Clock is an interesting student project where instead of a typical clock that consists of a box with a graphical time scale at the front, the clock is reduced to only an hour hand, and any flatsurface becomes the face. According to the project designer, the clock is meant to be personal and subjective.
Loop’s Rachel Wingfield and Mathias Gmachl have created a personalised alarm clock that is integrated into your bedding. Drawing inspiration from how light has controlled our body clock by telling us when to sleep and when to wake, the duo have created a pillow and duvet that simulate a natural dawn that ease you into your day by using electroluminescent technology to turn the textile surface into a reactive light source.
Apart from the novelty of, the clock is also supposed to treat sufferers of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) where insufficient levels of daylight cause medical conditions caused by a hormonal imbalance ranging from depression to loss of energy, pre-menstrual syndrome, weight gain and migraines.
This gives new meaning to the word “Wall Clock” – Three designers from the Royal College of Art (The very same university where the designer behind the Paper Clock was from) have come up with an innovative use of heating elements and ink that allows graphics, words and numbers to be displayed within a concrete.
Nickel chromium wires are set beneath the concrete surface, which heats up when an electric current passes through. When a certain temperature is reached, the concrete above the wire changes color, thus creating the visual.
Of course, the display of graphics and information depends on the arrangement of the wires.