With all the credit card swiping, Apple Paying, Venmo-ing, PayPal-ing, and autopaying, it can be hard to keep track of just how much money is in your account on a daily basis.
Flux, a device created by the German designer Peter Sörries, tries to reverse that trend, giving you a real-time visualization of your bank account balance in the form of a 3D-printed pendulum. It’s a clock-like interface that makes your bank account tangible and touchable–literally.
A simple tap on Flux’s round body retrieves data from the user’s savings and checking accounts, and the two cords that hang from the body adjust to give a general visual indication of how much money is available in each, as a percentage of the total amount across both accounts. And if you notice your accounts are out of whack, for example if it’s the end of the month and you need a little more cash before your next paycheck? A simple tug on the checking account cord will transfer funds to that account. If your savings look a little on the slim side, a tug on the savings account cord moves money over.
Sörries says that the device’s simple design and neutral color enable Flux to blend into the wall, rather than serve as a constant reminder. Its subtlety has cultural implications as well: “In Germany it is impolite to talk about, for example, money matters or salary,” he says. “So I decided to keep this abstract output of the two pendulums as some kind of data protection.”
Though Flux is just a prototype, perhaps the device’s most interesting quality is its ability to act as a reminder to check in on your finances. In a world of digital transactions, money can be hard to visualize. Flux makes it tangible again.