“What time is it?”, a question you might answer by glancing at the clock. But does looking at the clock really give you a sense of time? Wouldn’t it be nice do have a different kind of clock? A clock that tells us the time like we experience it: fluid and based on the events that happen in our lives.
Time in numbers
Using their hands or digits, clocks show us a number that represents the number of hours, minutes and seconds that have passed since midnight. The hours, minutes and seconds have no real meaning, except being fractions of the 24-hour day. For me, this does not coincide with real life. I think it’s time to redesign the clock so that it is in line with how we experience time!
Stripe: the clock of today
Stripe is going to be a linear clock that shows your time instead of the time. It starts when you wake up and stops when you go to sleep. It is a beautiful object that uses a bar of white LEDs to show you how much of your day has passed. Every morning you start with a clean slate. Stripe connects to your online calendar to subtly show upcoming events as colored bars on your daily timeline.
In the illustration above you see Stripe as it would look when you’re about ⅔ into your day. It shows you have two things planned today. Stripe won’t tell you what exactly – without overloading you with information it gives you a sense of time.
A Thing of the Internet of Things
Stripe is part of the Internet of Things. It connects to your existing Wi-Fi network and plugs into your digital calendar in the cloud. It knows its geographical location so it can determine the current timezone, sunrise and sunset times. Stripe will be designed to be as smart as possible, requiring minimal configuration. It will be reprogrammable to become smarter over time. In the future, your washing machine might be able to communicate with Stripe to notify you when your laundry is done!
Open Design: open hardware and software
The design of Stripe will be fully documented on this website. The software and hardware is going to be open source: you will be able to download source code, schematics, design files and any other information you need for building or improving upon Stripe.
Nut & Bolt’s great experiment
For Nut & Bolt, Stripe is going to be an experiment in going through the full ideation, design and manufacturing process of an open source product. In a few months, when Stripe is finished, you will be able to buy it online on this website or you will be able to build it yourself using the design files published here. Your feedback is highly appreciated, so let me know what you think. And if you feel like sharing your skills to help improve Stripe, please drop me a line!