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This Rorschach Alarm Clock Is Filled With Ferromagnetic “Creatures”

If we’re not using our smartphones, most of us have alarm clocks counting down those precious minutes of remaining sleep using either analog dials or LED displays. But designer Zelf Koelman of the Eindhoven University of Technology has created a new kind of alarm clock, one where the time bubbles up from the bottom like a monochrome lava lamp.

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The Ferrolic is an alarm clock which uses ferrofluids–a liquid that is highly sensitive to magnetic fields–not just to show the time, but to display a sort of ambient, Rorschach art. Koelman calls these ferrofluid bubbles ‘Ferrolic creatures,’ and on the clock’s website, describes how it works:

In the front, the display has a basin comparable to an aquarium in which Ferro Fluid can move freely. Behind the scenes powerful electromagnets enable Ferollic to influence the fluid’s shape, to pick it up and move it around. Both modules, the basin and the electronics, sit secure in an aluminum frame.

Ferrolic is also “hackable,” so new information and animations can be created and transmitted via a web app that connects to the clock. “In this way users can assign “the creatures” to display time, text, shapes and transitions,” Koelman writes.

The finished product isn’t just a timepiece; it’s a mesmerizing piece of side table art. Only 24 gave been made so far, and they are quite expensive–around $8,300 a piece. But if you want a Ferrolic clock of your own, you might be in luck: the official website hints that a Kickstarter for the device might be down the road. Consider my ferrofluid obsessed fingers crossed.

[via Boing Boing]

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