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Watch for Poets Uses Sky’s Colors to Tell Time

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For those of us who spend too much time glued to our gadgets — laptops, cell phones, iPads, whatever — Japanese designer Ryohei Yoshiyuki has come up with a neat way of getting you unglued. Of course it involves another gadget.

It’s called Re: Time of the Sky, and it’s a watch that doesn’t tell time, at least not by the usual means. Instead of hands or a digital readout, it shows shades of blue that correspond to the real colors of the sky — man’s original clock — creating what the designer calls “a small window on one’s arm.” It’s supposed to encourage you to gaze up occasionally, an idea that’s equal parts poetic and disturbing: We have to look to our gadgets to be reminded to look somewhere else.

Yoshiyuki worked with the media artist Tomoya Kahimada to program the timepiece. Every few seconds it displays one of 24 colors, from Cadillac blue to deep navy, one for each hour of the day. You can also punch a side button that’ll flash the saturation of the sun or moon at that precise moment, so the John Muirs among us can actually figure out the time. Here it is during the day:

And at night:

Yoshiyuki has produces all sorts of strange, high-concept products including an earlier, less abstract version of Re: Time of the Sky, which included hands, and a mold that makes bread shaped like artists? palettes. See more of his work here.

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