(English) Horologicode LCD watch uses barcode to tell the time.

(English) Design submitted by Sam from Germany. (UPDATED)

Sam says: The inspiration for this concept comes from barcodes. My idea was to use a barcode not just as stylish display element but to tell the time in a way, the wearer can actually decipher. In the industry next to the bars also the gaps between them contain information. This watch concept uses this principle.

When you look at the display, you see several thick and thin bars that also have different lengths and the gaps between them also vary in width. This looks pretty confusing at first but really cool.
To read the time, first concentrate on the gaps. There are 13 gaps of which the first 12 tell the hours and the last one is a PM indicator. A narrow gap means nothing – it’s a mere separator for the bars. You have to count the wide gaps.

The next step is the 10 minute increments. Now you concentrate on the bars. Thin bars aren’t important for the minutes at all. They just separate the gaps. You have to count the thick ones from the left. It’s about the 10 minute steps so you count up until 5.

The remaining 9 bars on the right side of the barcode represent the single minutes that have to be counted from the right and then added to the previously counted minutes. Here again, the thick ones are of interest. Each third bar is a bit longer so you can quickly count in steps of three bars.

Every barcode looks different and is a little challenge each time you want to tell the time. But people have went through harder issues than counting up to 12 with help. The display has the technical and modern barcode look and the fact it confuses people but is actually readable makes it charming.

The watch design breaks the edginess and provides an elegant shape that turns the rational barcode into a stylish array of curves. The display is technically simple – LCD. It is covered by a gradient layer that let’s the display fade out. There can be colored LCD on a chrome background or black LCD on a colored background. In any case, this concept is a fashionable and geeky jewel.

UPDATE: Sam sent in some additional pics showing how the time can be read easier with some numerical hints and how the watch would look on your wrist.

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58 Responses to “(English) Horologicode LCD watch uses barcode to tell the time.”

  1. avatar Tokyoflash Japan Product Design Studio より:

    Looking very slick indeed! Black with silver trim looks so smart. You really could wear this with a suit & it would look perfect.
    The fading barcode towards the back is also a nice touch.

    btw, in case anyone is wondering, we have quite a back-log of Sam’s designs that didn’t have a chance to be posted, so thats why you are seeing him more than usual recently.

    • avatar Pete より:

      hehehe Sams designs are like buses! you wait ages for one then a bunch arrive at the same time! lol
      Its always nice to see Sam’s work so please continue! :D

    • avatar Samukun より:

      Thank you so much for telling about the backlog!

      Yes, everybody, I have to say it’s so much fun to think about concepts for watches. Right now I have other things to do, but the last months where filled with ideas! There are so many ways to play around with time! I was asking Tokyoflash to keep a posting distance of two weeks, but recently we saw, the concpts would grow really old until they got posted. I have so many ideas, some striking (sometimes I like to flatter myself) and some are “just” nice but still different from what is available. I hope I’m not offending or boring anybody with my more frequent presence.

      And Pete, hehe, thank you very much and I think your army of concepts will conquer us soon too ;)

    • avatar Samukun より:

      Oh I forgot:

      Thank you Toky for posting this idea and for the compliment. Once the barcode system was found, it had to be encased. Wow, barcodes can look so boring when they are not properly handled. I dared a cheeky curve and a gradient here et voilá, I was happy. But if the look is a buying reason and stronger than the reading trickiness (like in the tradition of TF watches) is up to the people now.

  2. avatar Lock より:

    Very nice look, and love the teal/black color combination. But this is too low on the readability : interesting look ratio for me to be able to drop the ~$150 it’ll likely cost. Hard to read, even for a TokyoFlash watch. I’ve read the explanation twice and I’m still lost. But on looks alone, it’s excellent.

  3. avatar Lock より:

    Ok, 3rd time’s the charm. Think I’ve got it now, and that helps. But it’s still kind of hard to read when the hours start getting up there. Dunno if there’s a way to touch up the readability just a bit without affecting the style you’re going for though.

    That said, didn’t want to leave a complaint up there when it’s no longer relevant.

    • avatar Samukun より:

      Thank you so much for taking the time! Many concepts on here need time and are “banned” too early because they aren’t understood in the first seconds. I was cheeky and tried to keep the people on screen wit the look, just like TF does hehehe. I’m glad it somehow worked for you. We’re having suggestions to add numbers for a quick reading, so I’ll try to work on an improved display.

      About leaving a complaint, it’s alright when it’s done properly, productively in the ideal condition. This is a blog and the concepts aren’t done necessarily. Again, it’s nice you took your time!

  4. avatar Gabriel_BB より:

    I like it and I want it. 5 stars, great work Sam.

  5. avatar Firdaus より:

    I can’t complain much on readability since people got such problem on my donut hehe but with comprehensive manual anything can be learned with brain. Exterior design of this watch is classy but I don’t quite agree with the curvy display (elevated then curvy) and thin lines. But still an awesome looking watch. Do have any dealer in Afghanistan? hehe 5*

    • avatar Samukun より:

      Hehe, you can read my thoughts for your donut at given location ;) You are right man, provide a booklet and throw the watch on the market! Curviness is a matter of taste but the thin lines (of the code?) are needed to separate the gaps. It’s cool you still have good feeling for it, thanks for the input!

  6. avatar Tokyoflash Japan Product Design Studio より:

    Several years back we had a watch that didn’t quite make it into production called ‘Asylum’ it had a barcode to tell the time, but looked like a hospital wristband – ha ha.

    Anyway, it was a bit difficult to read because counting lines can be hard on the eye. However, to overcome that we included easy mode with numbers below the barcode, just like a real barcode has. So reading the numbers was very easy but the lines could still be used if you wanted something more cryptic.

    • avatar Samukun より:

      OMG I have a hospital wristband idea in my sketchbook! Maybe I should work for you…

      I am working on a simplified version that has numbers below each short bar, but it’s just a sketch by now and my current schedule is mean >.<

      It's a slim line between easy and difficult sometimes. On one hand, counting until 12 is a piece of pie, on the other hand it's not apples but stripes and one has to concentrate more than usual.

      Well, if people start to like barcodes again, as we could see at Laszlo's concept a long while ago (everybody, search for "Laszlo" at the top right of this page and chack the good old entries of him) then it's probably time to unleash your idea again!

  7. avatar Patrick より:

    This is a very beautiful watch, with a significant concentration needed for reading. Beautiful object!
    5 * / Yes.

  8. avatar Timur より:

    Very, very nice!

  9. avatar Pete より:

    I was going to suggest an easy mode with the numbers at the bottom of the lines but I see TF beat me to it. For me thats the only thing missing from this design. My poor little brain struggles with the time telling but would have to buy for the looks alone! add the easy mode and I’m sold! 5/Y :D

    • avatar Pete より:

      Oh yeah, the name is just fantastic! :p

    • avatar Samukun より:

      Man, thanks for the cool name! Everybody should know it was you who came up with it!

      Thank you for the comment and the number suggestion. I thought about it the last weeks but I fought with the fact that counting isn’t hard. But I’m too dep in the matter so I’m biased.

    • avatar Pete より:

      I have to say now that I have practiced the time reading a few times its actually not that difficult!
      takes a little time so would still like an easy/reveal mode for when in a hurry and havent got the time to count the bars. But as with a lot of the older TF watches, a little practice makes a lot of difference. :D

  10. avatar Laszlo より:

    Previously I had a bar code idea ( http://www.tokyoflash.com/blog/2010/10/barcoded-watch-design/ ) but it’s amazing!
    Congratulations to you Sam!

    • avatar Samukun より:

      Yeah great, that you posted it here! I was aware of your idea and I think, that I’m using the gaps as well and having it readable (more or less) without numbers, makes my concept diffeent enough. I hope so :)

      Thank you for the compliment! I’m glad you like it!

    • avatar Makkovik より:

      that’s a nice one, 5*.

  11. avatar Brent より:

    EPIC watch Sam i love the design and it is something i would like to buy. I love how slick the watch is and it will look great with a suit (:

  12. avatar freddo より:

    The face is really cool, but the band is ugly. I think you should use the band similar to the Kisai Seven.

  13. avatar dzign555 より:

    I haven’t figured it out yet, but I want one anyway! :) 5*

    “Excuse me, what’s the time?”
    “I don’t know – but it looks cool, doesn’t it?!”


  14. avatar werwolf より:

    wtf, sam?! are you trying to rob me blind or something?!
    if all of your designs come into production – and they should – then i will have to buy them all and won’t have any money left for food or rent… sheesh, stop it already with the amazing designs, will ya??!

    oh, btw, love this design. very slick, a little bit sci-fi. win!

    • avatar Samukun より:

      Oh god laughing hurts cause I got a croaky throat :D I’m afraid, I have quite some concepts waiting to be judged on here. But relax eat and live cause it’s all just hot steam until we know more. I’m glad that this idea is accepted and made you come back again! Thanks Wolfy ;)

  15. avatar Samukun より:

    :arrow: NUMBER MODE :!:

    Due to repeated hints (thanks everybody) I’ve added an optional number mode. This image does not go alone, you still need the explanation image.

    But as a reminder: Wide gaps represent hours and are read left to right. They are indicated by a number inside the last relevant gap. The rightmost gap is not an additional hour, it’s the pm indicator. The five 10-minute steps are represented by thick bars and are read left to right too. They are indicated by a number below/in the last relevant bar. And finally the remeining minutes (up to nine) are represented by thick bar read from right to left. The leftmost bar has a number that tell the last minute(s).

    The numbers can be read like text (top to bottom, left to right) and reveal the time easily. The number mode can be used to train reading and maybe you can go without the numbers and impress your buddies.

  16. avatar Brent より:

    Sam I just wanted to say how nice your designs are. You have the nicest designs by far

  17. avatar Jun Fan Lee より:

    Hi, I would like to buy this watch ASAP.

  18. avatar Malcolm より:

    I really like the sleek design of this and the number hints are a good idea. Definenlty going to keep an eye out for when this will be fore sale :D

    • avatar Samukun より:

      Thank you for the comment! Oh yes stay tuned please – that might help. The numbers are really helpful when you’re in a hurry. I just tried to read it without the numbers and it’s fun too :D

  19. avatar Heather より:

    looks awesome…if an appropriate size, i’d buy it for myself – if not, i’d buy it for my brother, cousin, or boyfriend! :D

  20. This watch design is sooo Tokyoflash, stylish, sleek and futuristic. Loving the fading barcode, so smooth … Sam, would it be possible to render exclusive image (one or two) for publication on our site?

    • avatar Samukun より:

      Oh hello Tuvie! Thank you for the interest in my concept! It would be great to be published on your site! I’ll try my best for the images. The thing is, resizing wouldn’t be possible for you because the text should stay 100% sharp. If you have a preferred image size, I will produce you good looking pictures. You will link back to here right? So one or two representative images would suffice? But once I have your input, I can do all images I think.

      If you like, hit up my facebook page (click my yellow name) and message me there.

  21. avatar diclonius より:

    gimmie one! :P

  22. avatar Makkovik より:

    wow, this one took me a lot of time to figure out. I love the curve going down, it make it easily readeable when your arm is paralel to your body. It also make a nice bracelet.

  23. avatar Samukun より:

    Diclo, ;)

    Makko, it’s cool you took your time! Now you’re robot hehehe. Thanks for the insight!

  24. avatar Pete より:

    This one ends soon too, this was epic! good luck Sambo!

  25. avatar Samukun より:

    Well that I like this concept is clear :D It went through some even more difficult stages and this is the essence of what I intended. That you like it, wasn’t clear until the concept hit the blog. I think most of the love here goes to the style I gave this concept, which is awesome!

    Thank you everybody so much for taking the time to figure out how this works. Easier times are coming ;)

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    Sam from Germany