It's not very often I put the words "mathematics" and "fun" in the same sentence, but that was before Albert Clock. I've written about it before, and I'm happy to report that it's now available to buy.
Designer Axel Schindlbeck teamed up with software engineer Fred Mauclere to manufacture the digital clock with funds generated via kickstarter.com. The crowdfunding campaign ended in August 2015, and 16 months later, 1000 pieces have been manufactured and distributed to private clients and schools in 37 countries worldwide.
Schindlbeck came up with the idea for the clock in 2008 as part of his thesis, a project which consisted of designing 50 products in 50 days. The Albert Clock, one of the 50 designs, was intended to turn boredom inside school classes into mental calculation skills.
It shows simple mathematical equations that need to be solved in order to read the time. Schindlbeck gave the standard alphanumeric segment font a redesign, with an improved readability of numbers and mathematical symbols. The clock has a hand lacquered matte finish, offers a crisp white LED display and provides 6 different levels of difficulty that adapt to one's individual skills.
"At one point, I felt the need to discover something new and I was excited by the idea of developing independently my own ideas, through playful concepts that have a curious and positive hold on everyday life. It's a true responsibility, and you just go from scratch to the final product on your own", says Schindlbeck.
Mauclere helped him to put his idea into reality by writing the software and developing all electronic parts. Due to their complementary skills of designer and developer the two, with the financial help of individual supporters, we able to conceive and put into production the digital clock named Albert.
Photos by Gerhardt Kellermann