The Simplications design goal was to distinguish the hour and the minute by representing each with a distinct element. Focusing on the relative nature of time telling, this invention removes the need for extraneous numbers and markers when only a relative understanding of the current time needed. By paring down the markings the approximate time instantly identifiable.
When looking at a watch we usually don't need microsecond precision. We just want to know how close we are to an event's beginning or end. We generally don't even need to know the exact minute. When we speak about time, we mostly use 15 minute increments: we say "quarter past," "half past," "quarter to" – even when we know the exact minute.
A good feature of the traditional analog clock is that you see a relative position in time. But the similarity of the two hands adds ambiguity. In addition, always displaying all numbers from 1 to 12 adds visual noise, without correctly representing the minutes – minutes are on a scale from 0 to 59.
A good feature in digital clocks is that you get the exact minute (and on some clocks the exact second.) But the fixed digits take away the relative representation of time which better matches the way we talk about time.
The designs in this collection build on the best of both of these traditional ways of presenting time.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Simplications is a collection of 4 watchfaces that convey the relativity of time. These patented designs present new ways of perceiving time while remaining minimal and easy to read. Unrestrained by traditional technologies they take advantage of the possibilities of modern display technology, improving the readability of the current time even on small low resolution displays found on monochrome smartwatches.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
Each of the 4 designs has distinct representation of time:
"Simplication" begins the hour with a number for the hour pointed towards the sky. As time passes, the hour turns to point towards the current minute.
"1 Hand" is a digital-analog hybrid. Each hour is a digital number. The minute is an analog hand.
"UPtime" begins the hour filling the display with a single number. As the minutes pass, the hour shrinks.
"Fingers of Time" has a finger for each hour. The tip of the fingers rotate to point to the minute.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
This project started in 2013 as a napkin sketch in a cafe at the San Francisco International Airport. It went through development in Cleveland Ohio, Münsingen Germany and Oakland California. The collection launched in 2016 and was successfully funded on Kickstarter.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Interface and Interaction Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Currently available for the Pebble smartwach, with display sizes of 144 by 168 or 180 by 180 pixels in black and white or 64 colors.
watchface, time, clock, watch, smartwatch, Pebble, app
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
Rajendra Serber, 2016.