Enchanted Object: “Affectionate Clock” By Malik B. Parker & John Brieger (2014)

Final Form

 

It used to be that clocks were these semi-magical objects. They were by far the most complex pieces of machinery that people owned, and winding and caring for a clock properly was part of the duties of ownership. Now we live in a world where almost everyone has a clock in their pocket, and can just check time on their phone/microwave/car radio. We took the idea of an antique clock, and we gave it personality! This clock just want to be loved and respected! If you don’t show it any affection, it will purposely tell you the wrong time. You can show it affection by petting it, and if you show it enough affection, it will feel loved and tell you the right time.

 

Internals Prior to Disassembly

 

Process:
We began by looking at objects we could embue with emotion. Clocks are great for this because they have parts (hands) that already are “supposed” to move, and they have a sentimental quality about them. While looking on craigslist for potential clocks, we found this amazing ad for “New LARGE Clock – Great for a Gift or an Older Person – $25”. It was a perfect example of why our project exists. We ended up purchasing a mantle clock from craigslist, gutting the internals, and wiring a hand to a continuous servo. Copper tape placed on the exterior of the clock let us discretely add a capacitive touch sensor while integrating into the antique aesthetic of our clock.

 

Final Internals

 

Reflection:
In hindsight, we should have researched our components a bit more. We ended up with not quite enough time to calibrate the servo motor correctly, which led to the clock not quite working as intended. The decision to include LED light ending up being the wrong one, as was exposed in our critique, as it broke the aesthetic of the clock. Still, our concept was strong and the clock project could be a good portfolio piece with a little more time.

 

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