fluidDial by _tngc from uk

designer's own words:

fluidDial is an interactive clock with using fellow fluid. This clock has a distinct elegant in its design because the users are required to manage it to find the time out. Unlike usual clocks it does not show the time unless users manage nothing. This is not a clock to know the time, it is clock to find the time out.
This project is a trial for raising user’s awareness up for the fact that we do not mind the time ritually in the daily life by designing the action that finding the time. I’m trying to provide an enjoyable experience through the action with it.

fluidDial has three grass dishes with fellow fluid on the housing that does not have the numbers and the clock hands on it. Instead of the numbers twelve LEDs are installed it and these LEDs indicate the numbers by the times of blinking of them. For example, each LED has fixed numbers of blinking times, blinking once means one, blinking twice means two. Hidden clock hands are rotating in the housing and the tips of them have neodymium magnets. The black liquid in the grass dishes is fellow fluid. Fellow fluid reacts to the magnetic force with changing its shape or tracing magnetic force so it can be said as liquid magnets. The fellow fluid traces the tips of clock hands underneath the top plate of the housing or it changes its shape to the spiky shape as a reaction to the magnetic force when the user move the grass dishes. If leaving the dishes on the plate without touching, the fellow fluid moves same as clock hands moving. If leave them more longer time, magnetic force of the tips of the clock hands move to outside of effective area to the fellow fluid so fellow fluid becomes back to just black liquid and user can not know the time unless finding the position again. The users can know the positions of the the edge of the clock hands that is the time by observing the reaction of the fellow fluid and also they can enjoy the interaction between the fellow fluid and the clock hands as like playing a toy.

The concept of the work is quite experimental. In terms of usability, it is an inconvenient clock because the users need to manage the process by themselves. There are two reasons for the concept. One is that I intended to actualize the feeling of taking costs to know the time through the designing the ritual action to find the time. One another is that providing enjoyable process through this action. In ancient times act to know the time was used to be a little bit time-consuming experience. In contrast, our environment is fulfilled with the display of the time on computers, mobile phones, even microwaves so we can check the time easily. I’ve thought we can be more subjective to the time by changing the action that just checking the time to the time spending action. Also I cared about designing the action as an exciting experience not as boring one so I use the beautiful movement and the shape of the fellow fluid.

Using image
Using image with a hand
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Side view of a housing
Close up picture of fellow fluid reacting to magnetic force (hour hand)
Close up picture of fellow fluid reacting to magnetic force (minute hand)
Debug scene of LEDs indicating numbers