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Wearable computing breakthrough

An image from the future past.

(via via @stevenf)

Arduino-powered Etch-a-Sketch clock

Dodgey99 built an Arduino-powered Etch-a-Sketch clock, in which a pair of stepper motors painstakingly draw out the current time. It's got a very low refresh rate, though: the limits of the motors and the Etch-a-Sketch means that it takes more than a minute to display the time, and it needs a couple of minutes' rest between each number. There's a plan to accelerate things with some beefier motors.

I use an Arduino driving two very cheap darlington stepper drivers with 64:1 internally reduced steppers for the drawing. For the rotation I'm using an Easy-Driver driving a Nema 17 stepper.

I also have a DS1307RTC real time clock installed so it always knows the time. Setting the time is a one-off via USB connected to a PC. Once done, you un-tether, and then the RTC keeps the time, for up to a year on the rechargeable battery, or so I'm told...

The code is actually very simple, it's just a pain drawing the numbers!

The G clamp on the back is for a counter balance until I find something more elegant!

The steppers are far too slow to write the time in under a minute so I delay it for a couple of mins between each draw. Mostly to give the very hot motors a while to cool off and to give the etch a sketch a break!

Etch a Sketch clock powered by Arduino (via JWZ)

Kickstarting a backlit steampunk Nixie clock

Kyle writes, "I just launched my first Kickstarter for this Steampunk flavoured Nixie clock in black walnut or (optionally) purpleheart. Comes with a proper adaptor for whichever country you should happen to live, and has a customizable triple LED backlight (over 700 colour choices!)."

Kyle's bio shows a long career in prop production and other makerish pursuits, suggesting that he's capable of fulfilling commissions on deadlines. Clocks start at CAD$549.

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Tentacled octopus watch


The Kudoktopus watch is the €30,000 creation of Stefan Kudoke in collaboration with Maria and Richard Habring. Out of my price range by a damned sight, but it gives me pleasure to consider a timepiece with such tentacly wonderfulness lurking within its display face.

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Bugle alarm clock

Dominic Wilcox made this Bugle Alarm Clock for a window at Selfridges department store in London: "This prototype alarm clock is fitted with mini air compressor and thin vibrating rubber membrane to mimic lip vibrations."

4: Bugle Alarm Clock (via WTBW)

(Photo: Piotr Gaska)

HOWTO build a nixie clock from near-scratch


Jeffrey sez, "The renowned 360 photographer Andrea Biffi has posted complete instructions for building your own Nixie Tube clock, even including how to etch your own circuit board. While the process seems to be slightly more difficult that 'total noob' difficulty (also, with nixie tubes, hazardous voltages are involved, so be careful!), it looks like loads of fun, with an absolutely beautiful end product."

Simple user-adjustable DIY Nixie Clock by andrea biffi (Thanks, Jeffrey!)

LED-lit fidget-ring/clock

Ringclock is an Indiegogo-funded, LED-lit stainless steel fidget ring that tells the time. It has a wireless charger and is very handsomely styled -- reminiscent of Kinekt's brilliant gear rings. However, they're sold as "water resistant" and unsuitable for showers or handwashing, which sounds like a recipe for an expensive disaster, especially as they're $235 for pre-order.

Ring Clock (via Red Ferret)

Jaunty, Xmassy steampunk assemblage clock sculpture


The latest piece from Roger Wood's Klockwerks studio is this brave, fire-engine-red number that's just put me over the edge into a full-on bout of Christmas cheer.

Kisai Console Wood watch: futuristic LED face and sandalwood bracelet

TokyoFlash's new Kisai Console Wood watch has a gorgeous sandalwood bracelet and a groovy LED-lit display that nestles directly in the sweet-spot between functional and ornamental. It comes with your choice of blue or green LEDs and red or dark sandalwood, and charges over USB. I'm partial (very, very partial) to the dark wood. Wow.

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Time in a bell-jar, with knobs on


Today's Klockwerks newsletter brought Roger Wood's latest lunatic bell-jar timepiece. It's exceptional, even by his high standards.

Russian Polar Expedition watch photo, 1969


Here's a beautiful, super-hi-rez, freely usable photo of a 1969 Russian Polar Expedition watch -- an absolutely droolworthy bit of horological sweetness. (Click to embiggen)

Russian Polar Expedition watch from 1969 - produced by Raketa [Sosoev/Wikimedia Commons]

(Thanks, Jim!)

Wrist-straps for pocket-watches


Polish leatherworker MK makes some very nice wrist-straps for pocket-watches and car-watches. He's not the only one making these, but I find them particularly handsome, and rather nice retro-modern take on the massive wristwatch phenomenon.

Wristbands for pocket watches. (Thanks, Nic!)

Shooped (?) (but awesome) watch gizzard


Unknown source, unknown provenance, and it's gotta be a shoop, but what a goddamned thing this would be, were it real.

How french watch works (Thanks, Ben!)

Elaborate electromechanical clock built around a nutcracker

When John Hilgenberg got a nutcracker for Christmas, he decided to make it the centerpiece of a huge, delightful rubegoldbergian clock that strikes every four hours, using a combination of eight bells and a complex arrangement to motors and gears.

John Hilgenberg’s Quarterdeck Striker

Artist arrested at Oakland airport for wearing ornate watch

Geoffrey McGann, a southern California artist, was arrested at Oakland airport for wearing an assemblage sculpture/watch he'd made. The TSA were also worried because he had a lot of insoles in his shoes. He was eventually released on $150,000 bail.

OAKLAND, Calif. -- A Southern California man was arrested at Oakland International Airport after security officers found him wearing an unusual watch they said could be used to make a timing device for a bomb, authorities said Friday... McGann told Transportation Security Administration officers that he's an artist and the watch is art, Nelson said.

Geoffrey McGann, Man With Strange Watch, Arrested At Oakland Airport [AP] (Thanks to everyone who suggested this!)