The smart Fibonacci Clock will test your skills, and patience

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July 2015

A startup project has designed a clock that tells the time by using a complex mathematical formula, meaning you really must want to know what time it is to work it out. And for those of you that can’t be bothered, the clock doubles as a modernist table lamp, too!

With all the talk about smartwatches, no one seems to be talking about smart users. This is a common theme with technological progress. In many ways, technology makes us “smarter”. It can provide us with services and information quickly and easily, allowing us to make better decisions. The idea behind smartwatches is to stay connected with people more easily. Apps on these devices can keep track of your lifestyle in the broadest sense, ranging from the health of your bank account, to the health of your body.

Now some might argue that the over-reliance on this kind of technology can make us less smart. Think about Wikipedia, think about Google. Everyone can be “smart” at the press of a button. The same was probably said when the first calculator was made available to the public. But just because we can’t do long division in our heads anymore doesn’t mean that we are less smart now. We are just smart in a different way. So it doesn’t necessarily mean that smart watches will make us less smart, simply because we will be more reliant on them for our daily needs and whims.

And just to show that we are still a pretty smart bunch of people, I have one simple test question for you to prove my point. And I’m confident that the intelligent readers of Europa Star will answer it correctly. Ready? OK, by looking at the diagram below, can you work out what time it is?

The smart Fibonacci Clock will test your skills, and patience

Having trouble? Here’s a hint: you can use the Fibonnaci Sequence to figure out what time it is.

For those of you that haven’t figured it out, the answer is 9:25. For those of you that did figure it out, my best guess is that you Googled what the Fibonnaci Sequence actually was. Unless, of course, you are wizards at mathematics. And that brings us back to my point above. Technology can make us both smarter and less smart, but in different ways.

So what does all this have to do with the idea of smartness and time? Well, by using the Fibonnaci Sequence, Philippe Chrétien has invented a smart clock that’s nothing like a smartwatch. Targeted towards consumers with an eye for both style and smarts, the Fibonacci Clock is precisely for “curious and inventive people who like a time piece that keeps them on their toes.” So how do you actually tell the time on the clock? Well, you do some math! (By the way, for those of you that can’t be bothered to do the math, the clock also doubles as a great lamp!)

The smart Fibonacci Clock will test your skills, and patience

According to the project’s Kickstarter video, “to read the hour, simply add up the corresponding values of the red and blue squares. To read the minutes, do the same with the green and blue squares. The minutes are displayed in 5 minute increments (0 to 12) so you have to multiply your result by 5 to get the actual number.” You should probably just watch the video below for a better demonstration by Philippe Chrétien.

Smartwatches will not make us less smart, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they will make us smarter. The Fibonnaci clock on the other hand, might make us smarter. Or it might just make us late for our appointments just by taking us way too long to figure out what time it is! Don’t you wish you paid attention in math class now?? (VJ)