Origami – Time in E-Paper

Design submitted by Peter (UK) & Sam (Germany).

Peter and Sam says: For this concept, we both had a rough image in mind, how an Origami watch could look like. We combined our ideas and the result is a snap-on bracelet e-paper watch.The time is told classically with four numbers in HH/MM mode. Each number is actually a single strip of paper. While the 1 isn’t folded, the other numbers are created by folding this paper strip more or less. There are simple numbers like 7,2 and 5 and more complex ones with the 8 on top of complexity.

The watch consists of a case and a structually independent folded metal based bracelet. According to the Origami theme, we suggest and e-paper display. The bracelet is actually a snap-on bracelet that automatically bends around the wrist, when enough pressure is applied. It’s coated with a soft but durable silicone which comes in a crumpled paper look.

All elements – the e-paper display, the one-piece snap-on bracelet and the folded numbers – come together to create a unique timepiece for fans of Origami.

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Origami - Time in E-Paper, 3.8 out of 5 based on 86 ratings

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59 Responses to “Origami – Time in E-Paper”

  1. avatar Mr.Taco says:

    Really nice design, reminds me of tacos!

    • avatar Pete says:

      I think that will win the most unusual comment prize (a years supply of tacos!) lol
      Thanks for the comment Mr. Taco! :D

  2. avatar Firdaus public says:

    This is an art to the max! Euro England vs Germany 5/5!

  3. avatar Pete says:

    Thanks TF for adding this coop design to the blog! :D

  4. avatar Krautesh Vakir says:

    Nice idea, like how the whole thing looks like its a piece of paper folded up :)

    • avatar Pete says:

      Thanks KV, yeah the paper effect works well with the origami theme and e-paper technology. Im glad you see it the same way! Thanks for the comment! :D

  5. avatar Timo says:

    So far, much better ideas from you.
    Relax a little gather yourselves guys!
    Does not Matter the Quantity!
    Sorry 3*/No.

  6. avatar TheWhispofSmoke says:

    Great design, don’t know why the rating is so low right now

    • avatar Pete says:

      Thanks TWOS, It doesnt look like this concept appeals to all. Im glad you like it tho!
      Cheers for the comment and the vote, it needs all the stars it can get at the minute! :D

  7. avatar Heather says:

    hey, guys! you know i’m really a fan of both of your work, but this one isn’t my taste (even though i do like origami). i like the creativity, especially that a concept based on paper folding is being displayed using e-paper. ;) but for me, even though the concept fits well theoretically and the digits are well thought out, i just wouldn’t want to wear a watch with this theme. not voting either way on this one. good luck!

  8. avatar Gordon says:

    Really original, I like

  9. avatar JP says:

    The watch face is a clever design, and looks great. I’m not sold on the strap, and that, on its own, would push me away from buying this watch.

    The strap is sensible in meeting the theme, but I question the appearance. TokyoFlash watches are so great because of the combination of creative style and high-quality appearance. A snap-on strap reminds me of the $20 snap-on watches from junior high. Even if the materials are high-quality, I cannot justify spending money on a watch that gives the apprehension of cheapness.

    • avatar Pete says:

      Thanks JP for the feedback. Since submission Sam and I have also discussed the strap and the snap on style mechanism. Maybe there is a more satisfactory way. In reality of course if TF were going to develop this concept they are more likely to use a strap, case design that they are comfortable with. Which may well be more conventional and appear higher in quality. So if the watch was developed I imagine they would resolve your apprehensions. Thanks for the comment! :D

      • avatar Samukun says:

        Hi JP! Completely comprehensible comment! We had the simplicity in the back of our heads and ignored a possible cheapness. Pete and I are flexible in some terms, concerning the watch design. The main idea was to transport the paper theme – that can be done in a more appealing way too! Thank you JP for your perspective!

  10. avatar Patrick says:

    Very original.
    5 * / Yes.

  11. avatar Tokyoflash Japan Product Design Studio says:

    A wonderfully put together concept watch design. Well done Peter and Sam. Can see you have put a lot of thought into this and the renderings are beautiful.

  12. avatar mushy says:

    I’d definitely buy this cos it’s fun and creative. :) 5 stars and Yes!

  13. avatar Jan says:

    Wow, very good. I give it 5/5. While I agree with the some of the critique of some people, I think the rating is for the quality and strength of the concept, even if there is room for improvement in case it gets taken further in direction of production.
    I would prefer a bracelet that folds into the casing in a integrated appearance rather than a snap-on two part design. As for the numbers, wouldn’t it be great if they would at each time change fold themselves new in front of your eyes for about a second or so, as in you get not only the finished origami numbers, but also a bit of the creation process? Is this to difficult to do on the little screen?
    Anyway, I think I already would buy one “as is”. Well done Sam and Pete, in a time where digital media replaces print media and paper gets out of business, you create a digital watch from “paper”, submitting to a innovative “futuristic” japanese watchmaker a design using the traditional art of oregami. The Theme is as strong as it gets…..

    • avatar Pete says:

      Great comment Jan! Thats a real breath of fresh air to read! Your welcome back anytime! ^^
      Great idea about the clasp also being a folded member. This is something to think about if we do a MkII version. I love the idea about the numbers folding from the strip in an animation before the time is displayed, that would be really great. I dont know how easy that would be, I know e-paper has its limitations but I dare to hope such is possible! Great feedback! Thanks for the comment and the morale boost! :D

    • avatar Samukun says:

      Oh yes!!! I agree with the geometry appearance. A concept that looks like one folded piece would fit better to the topic.

      The folding animation is a cool idea indeed. I have a separate origami inspired concept (not publishced yet) that uses less detailed LCD numbers that fold. I think if folding can be done here, where we are closer to the paper theme, it would be perfect! The watch should then be delivered with a paper strip so the folding can be retraced step by step. E-paper could have high refresh rates, but that’s relatively new and probaby pretty pricey. If Tokyoflash want to take a step into the world of e-paper, they will look into that feature I hope :)

      I like that you mention the contrast towards digital media. Thats a strong point and a MkII should work with that.

      I agree with Pete, that’s a moral boost :D Thank you Jan!!

  14. avatar Jan says:

    Well if you do a MkII, and this is meant to be encouraging rather than beeing a pedantic criticism, you could consider this (I thought about it last night, so I must be rather intrigued by your watch):
    A reversal of the priorities, rather than origamizing 9 Numbers, you build 720 (1440 for 24h) origamis, made out of one single ribbon each which contains the numbers you need. You basically use nearly exactly the numbers you have designed already and connect them to each other rather than connect each number to the side of the screen. (You have startet that with a few anyway, like your 23) Where the readability of your number gets destroyed by the connecting ribbon, you could simply fold it “on its side”, so it becomes a thin line and the readability gets conserved or solve it by any other method.
    You have already created the design for the numbers (which I like), so this is probably not to difficult to change, and as a result you get a new unique one minute lived origami for each minute in the day (or at least 12h). This is very much in sprit of oregami for 2 reasons: It seems to be a lot of work to fold 1440 origamis, but, hey, origamis are quite a bit of work, the second reason is, because they are made of paper, they are fragile and “short-lived”. With the seperate numbers the first 1 in 10:00 would live 9 hours and 59 Minutes to 19:59 or nearly 2h for the 12h). For the first 9 hours of the day you could scip the 0 in front of the single digit and for single full hours you could just have one big single number filling the screen, just to reduce complexity…….what am I doing here? trying to become a back seat watch designer?
    Anyway, I am still banking on the idea that the origami watch is to strong an idea to just let go, even if the rating is rather low….maybe if I buy 2?
    Good Luck again

    • avatar Pete says:

      Hello again Jan,
      Crikey you have put a lot of thought into this. This is very encouraging that it provokes this much interest.
      The amalagmation of the four individual “ribbons” into one continous one feels like a natural evolution of the concept. Like you say its a case of getting the transition detail between the numbers right is the key. From a animation perspective do you think the numbers would have to un-fold and re-fold to create the new time display or just start again? or just the number that has changed un-fold and re-fold etc?
      The all in one display reminds me of “snake” an older concept of mine which used a continous pixel snake to create a negative of the time. I really liked the joined up feel which constantly changes with the time.
      BTW “back seat designing” is very welcome when its this positive and constuctive.
      Regarding the scores, the blog has been quite in general of late so we take the ratings with a pinch of salt.
      Also Imho great constructive comments such as yours are worth far more than ratings anyway.
      Thanks for the epic feedback and the interest! ;)

    • avatar Samukun says:

      I agree with Pete. Constructive comments are most welcome! I really like the idea of a single ribbon and readability is the only problem that might occur from the missing cuts. I thought about letting the number ribbons continue until they end under a neighbouring number but this is already creating some reading difficulties. As for the ends that touch the display border, those can be folded to touch each other. But there are alternatives. One would be letting the ribbon come from the top edge, move to the center and then folding into the four numbers, moving back to the center and out of the display again – like a 4 leafed clover. So much options now and so much fun to think about them! Thanks alot for the feedback Jan!

  15. avatar Jan says:

    Hi again Pete and Sam,
    thanks for beeing interested in my comments. Pete, when I saw the question you had in your last post I realized that I might not have managed to exactly transport what I wanted to say…
    The reason why I mentioned the whole time-telling-symbol should be done out of one sheet or one ribbon piece of paper is simply because that seems to be the essence of origami, to be made out of ONE piece. As in the little unicorn origami in the Blade Runner is made from 1 piece, not an addition of one for the head, one for the torso, 4 for the legs etc. So by mentioning a “reversal of priorities” in my last post I tried to challenge you to not just create a classic 00:00 with 10 single origami numbers as you have (and done very well indeed), but 720 single-piece origamis which of course need to contain the numbers you already have designed, but in a, as you said, “amalgamated” way. It is only a relatively small adjustment, but somehow it becomes much more its own unique thing, origami becoming the main structure of telling the time (“origami-time”) and the placement and integration of the numbers submitting to this lead rather than the placement of the numbers in a normel 4-Digit-Pattern beeing the main structure and origami style numbers being secondary to that. U can use one origami letter/symbol to display a 4 number time. Just take 11:25. This is a nice one, you start with your 1 in the upper left, fold it at its base into the top-rail of your 2, where the bottom rail becomes the bottom of the five ending in the one on the upper right. It is still easy to read, but also an abstract single letter/symbol/character in its own right. And it stays close to something else japanese, japanese writing, which has like chinese lots of single letter words. (In english it is rather the opposite, 3-5 letters for 1 digit 4=FOUR, 8=EIGHT). I do not think you have to put a lot of work in at the moment, it is not nessesary to create 720 great symbols right now, some will be hard to crack, just present a few favorites, which look good straight away like the one i mentioned before, and you only have to animate one of them as an example. And that answers your question, Pete, in this logic the whole symbol at the end of a minute disappears, fades unfolds or whatever you come up with and the whole new symbol folds itsself up, rather than sections. As mentioned before, I would only use the amount of numbers needed to read any peticular time, which means at point three only a single 3, rather than a three plus 3 zeros. That gives you more design freedom, as most times of the (12H) day 3 digits re enough and you have the choice of where to place and connect the number in the upper row to the minutes in the lower. The idea of starting in the middle for the times that require 4 numbers sounds very convincing to me, Sam. Well out of 120 Million Japanese, shouldn’t threre be quite a few which really would like a watch like this………

    Good Luck again, you are standing with the ball in front of an empty goal with this in my opinion and if my 2 cents help to get it over the line……

    • avatar Pete says:

      Hello again Jan,
      I better understand what you are suggesting this time. I think it was me being thick rather than your description.
      Yeah I agree with you that each time telling could be an almost unique single flowing ribbon, almost like a miniture art installation that only lasts for a single minute. The fact that each “time origami” includes all the numbers works in our favour, as epaper has a slow refresh rate and doesnt lend itself to constant changes. So we can have a relatively long/slow animation of the “time origami” forming as we have a minute before it needs to be replaced. (we would probably want a quick view too without the animation for those who cant spare the time to watch the show). Like you say this single ribbon does indeed get much closer to the essance of origami which has got to be a good thing.
      You seem to have a very clear vision of the potential for the display, do you have any suggestions/preferences regarding the case/strap design. The original although very authentic in the fact it is also created from a single strip of material has had mixed reviews. So its difficult to decide whether for MkII we keep to this priciple but try to make it more acceptable for more people or do we have a more conventional case construction which has an origami inspired form. Arguably the second option is the easier (and more likely option for TF should they choose to develop the idea) and could be made more asthetically pleasing but is less authentic. If you have any thoughts we’d love to hear them as you clearly have a lot of ideas and enthusiam for the inspiration for this concept.

      P.S loving the topical football (soccer) reference, lets hope we dont kick the ball over the crossbar and out of the stadium! lol

      • avatar Samukun says:

        I saw a short docu about Brian Chan (worth googling) who has amazing origami skills and that intensified my attitude towards a single-ribbon-time-display. Having a single piece of work for each minute would be so awesome. Even if animation would not work (if it would, folding would have to be time lapsed and not comprehensible then) an extra thick manual could be provided with the watch so allow deeper insight to the topic. Some deeper studies are needed now :) Right now Germany soccers against Greece WAAAAAHHH

    • avatar Samukun says:

      Oh Jan, are you a male or a female? Pete and I have different opinions.

  16. avatar FORDDeanna says:

    Main problem of different students is their fear of utilizing something new like custom written academic papers! We don’t have to be afraid to buy college research paper online! Innovations can really assist us!

  17. avatar Jan says:

    I am shattered, I mean it would be good if you get my gender right, its also somehow bearable to get my gender wrong, but both at the same time….does that make me a virtual transsexual? :) I have to call my shrink.
    To answer your question, i’m male. Oh…now one of you guys is shattered…maybe Pete(i have a 50% chance to have got that one right). Did you really think a, lets say young and beautiful female, lets say Amanda-Seyfried-Lookalike (seen the movie “In Time” recently?) would get into a geeky philosophical discussion about a syntax of time and the deeper meaning of origami with you, once in a while easing it up by talking about footbal???? What planet are you living on? :) :):) Get a shrink. And you Samuel….Samson…..oh….oh….could it be true? Don’t say a word….I see light at the end of a long dark tunnel…….is it you, Samantha? :) :):):)
    I know exactly how you look, I myself actually look pretty much like Justin Timberlake……whats your telephone-number:):)

    • avatar Samukun says:

      Hehe hi Jan :D

      Without shattering your world again, I’m a male too and Samuel was right. Jan is a german male name (pronounced “yahn”) but in english, or the UK or just Pete’s corner, Jan is female (short for Jane, Janet, Janice I assume) So 50/50 indeed.

      Ok, let’s not abuse this blog too much for chats. If you have facebook, we could get connected there. Pete would join, I’m sure hehe.

    • avatar Pete says:

      Yup it was me that got it wrong! sorry! lol
      I should have guessed after the football references and the film references!
      It was the name that confused me, as Sam correctly says it can be short for a few ladies names here on these little islands. That said I have met girls called Peter (although usually spelt differently) So there could be confusion all around! lol.

  18. avatar Jan says:

    Peter and Sam,
    back to the topic, I think I have a few more thoughts to contribute. If you don’t like them, you could always say:”They are not worth the paper they were folded with!”….
    If you would go with the 12h-720-Alphabet you have to deal with the annoying am/pm nuisance. Rather than displaying a sad mini-me origami for that in one corner of the screen, why don’t you let your symbols throw a shadow on the screen of, let’s say, half a ribbon width. For AM the shadow falls to the left as the sun rises in the east (if you imagine your watch being a map facing north), for PM the shadow falls to the right as the sun sinks in the west. You kill to crows with one stone, because additionally the symbols will “pop” stronger of the screen, rather than laying more flat “white on white”, which makes it easier to read.
    Thought about illumination at night? Backlit in a tea-light-in-a-paper lantern sort of way. The paper illuminated by candlelight would appear yellowish-orange and, of course, brighter shining through single paper, a bit darker for double paper overlapping and so on…would further strengthen the paper appearance and also play with the fact that origami is an traditional art, so a xenon spotlight illumination might not be a great fit, if you know what i mean.
    The closing mecanism of your watch with the overlapping of the paper-strip is not yet fully origamized, i mean ideally you would “fold” that watch around your wrist in the morning and “unfold” in the evening, so if you could fold one end of your wristband in a 90 degree angle over the other, the 45 degree foldline being a line joint (piano-hinge-type) and being hold in place by a magnet or something like that anyway, the bearer becomes active part of your origami….
    I agree with you guys, as cool as the animation part is, if the screen technology would not allow to show the animation in a slowish way looking absolutely great, than one would not use it. No animation would be better than a rather average one. But for the concept phase that is no hinderance yet….
    Maybe someone like Brian Chan can be commissioned for the single (and 10,11,12?) hour symbols, which rather than the 708 ribbon origamis could be sheet origamis and fold up in a more complex way…
    Rather than calling your upgrade origami-mk2 you simply still call it origami, but use the japanese writing….folding up this you must most definately ask Brian Chan for help. :) :) :)
    Oh…I have to stop…have to bandage my finger…papercut!

    • avatar Samukun says:

      Wooow, I definitely like your brainstorming! Thanks for that Jan!

      The lighting and shadow ideas are very cool. As far as I know, e-paper can’t be backlit and would need external light. A warm colored LED could do that and would keep a less techy look. But if there can’t be light, it would be ok too. I think it’s the same reason as for the animation: better not than just average.

      I’m not sure about the am/pm necessity actually. In the blog, if got mentioned some times, mostly because people missed an indicator. But 12 hours difference… can’t one distinguish morning from evening anymore? I guess with the current lifestyle (work, party, mind-altering signals or nommables) it gets harder to know what is what… That could be helped with a 24h mode but then some english speaking countries might object. There are always two options how to fold a number, as they are seen up there – with the incoming paper strip on top or on the bottom. You could flip the numbers up there, looking at their backsides. Except for the 1, they look pretty different on on their backsides. The two different perspectives could be used for am and pm.

      A magnetic closing mechanism would be nice. This mechanism with the hinges would allow some interlocking so both ends hold really tight.

      When I have more time in my bag, I’d like to dive deeper in the Origami matter until 720 or 1440 little time sculptures are no problem. I have the feeling, we got a big stone rolling now hehe.

      折紙 would be the japanese writing :D

      Hehe, are you having fun with paper?

    • avatar Pete says:

      Hello again Jan,
      I have to say the shadow AM/PM indecator is inspired, I love the idea that if you were to do a motion capture of the display there was a shodow slowly moving from one side of the display to the other during the 24hr period. E-paper as far as I know is perfect for multiple shading and this idea would give the display added depth.
      Like Sam I am unsure if e-paper can be backlit, I have seen e-readers with illumination advertised but I dont know if they are backlit or frontlit, either way the glowy paper lantern image you portray is very appealing.
      This really brings the Japanese cultural thing into play, the mix of the tradition and technology harmonised in one design.
      I also like your clasp idea, this sits well with conventional clasp design (like the ones with removeable links, where you open a clasp, it then goes though a loop on the opposite strap before you fold it back on itself)
      I hope TF take the time to read your comments Jan, apart from the fact you make great suggestion for developing this concept further (between the original concept and your feedback they could develop this without a MkII no problem) but also cos this is what the blog is all about. Thanks again for your thoughts and suggestion and above all enthusiasim. Oh yeah I forgot about your paper-cut, MEDIC!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)

  19. avatar Jan says:

    You are right, Sam, a wrist watch most of the time for most people does not need AM/PM. But then again, in times of universal political correctness and mutual understanding, would you want to discriminate against space travellers, deep ocean explorers, workers trapped after mining accidents or, of course, the poor people working in a windowless office in the third basement in Tokyo, chained to their computers 24/7, the people of the honourable Tokyoflash Japan Product Design Studio. They all desperately need AM/PM.(This is my way to find out if they read the Blog, if this post gets deleted as spam they probably do).
    Thought about your up to 8 digit one piece date origamis yet, for the infinite calender of course…….?

  20. avatar Makkovik says:

    I love snap-on strap. As of origami, not much, so i’ll have to pass. ( on the other hand, I like the numbers rendering )

  21. avatar ak_dry says:

    I Want one of THOSE!!!!
    where I an buy it???

    • avatar Samukun says:

      Hey ak! Thanks for telling. This is only a concept, so it’s not out for sale. Maybe we see something like this in the future, but noone can tell if or when. Cross you fingers ;)

    • avatar Pete says:

      Nice comment Ak! Hopefully one day this or something similar will be available for purchase! Cheers for the interest! :D

  22. avatar NL1 says:

    Hi guys.
    I’m not fan of the “paper effect” on the strap, it must be an other way to give it a paper feel (btw I’ve seen a paper watch in a dollar shop lately, ready-to-throw-away, yet funny). but what a concept ! Once again you’ve started from a solid basic idea and you’ve utilized it to the limits. That’s what a concept is used to and the result is great ! With a few tweaks it will lead to a makable, wearable über cool watch. I wish TF could make e-paper watches soon, so we can see the result of ideas like this one.
    Good job !

    • avatar Pete says:

      Hey Nico, great comment! Yeah the strap/case design could do with a few tweaks to suit more tastes. Yeah I agree about TFs ambitions with e-paper, “dot2dot” would make a great test bed for the tech! ;) cheers for the comment and vote! :D

  23. avatar Matthew says:

    I would love to get one of these watches mainly because I like origami

  24. avatar Pete says:

    Time is running out for this one, so a big thanks to everyone who voted, commented and shared.
    Thanks to TF for posting it here and of course Sam for the coop!

    Pete from team GB :D

    • avatar Samukun says:

      This was nice :) Looking forward to another coop with ya :)

      Yes, thank you to all supporters who see potential in this concept. It has some flaws, but it’s a good start for something great I think. So stay tuned people!!

      Sam from GER :mrgreen: