Microbe LCD watch evolves to tell the time. (update)

Design submitted by Justin from the UK.

Justin says: Ive had this design in my Sketch-Pad for a while & cant remember how it originated, it probably started off as a hexagon and evolved from that. I may have been watching something on TV about germs or Micro-Organisms which influenced the design.

Microbe is a simple analogue watch at heart. The hours are found around the outer edge, moving clockwise…12 at the top, 1 at the corner, 2 on the straight edge, 3 on the corner etc…

The organism hatches from the center where the single minutes are, and it worms its way across the watch face until it finds or points to the relevant hour.

Where it hatches from is an indicator of the 10 x Mins too…depending on which edge of the inner hexagon it pops out from.

People who work in labs might find this one amusing although id hope its appeal would reach further than that due to its futuristic looks, sleek metal strap & mirrored watch face.

Ive never seen an organic take on time telling done in such a way. The always on LCD display would mean that as each second passes the “Microbe” could wriggle and slither about whilst still pointing to the correct time. The mirrored screen would also add to the flashy look which is typical of TokyoFlash wrist-wear.

Get infected with a Microbe!

UPDATE: Some additional images exploring alternative time telling methods.

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36 Responses to “Microbe LCD watch evolves to tell the time. (update)”

  1. avatar Tokyoflash Japan Product Design Studio says:

    Well done Justin!
    One thing which gets me excited about this design is, because of the matrix type display, there are endless possibilities for animations & alternative time modes. For one, the bacteria could infect the whole screen leaving just an empty path – the reverse of above. Or ~ you could probably have the microbe evolve into 2 organic digits “53″ and a third cell indicate the hour. Countless more too I’m sure.

    ooo! Perhaps, at the start of the day the microbe is a simple single-cell creature, displaying the time in a basic way. As the day progresses it becomes further evolved forming more & more complex organisms to tell the time!

    • avatar Pelly says:

      Can’t believe I made TokyoFlash “ooo!”…that’s gotta be a good sign lol
      Can anybody else think of any alternative time modes or games/display variances? I’ll get em rendered and get them up for all to see!

    • avatar Pelly says:

      Thank you so much for the update TF!! You rock!! Hope you like the new batch of germs!! :)

      • avatar Pete says:

        Nice additions Pelly, it certainly shows the concept to be very versatile! best of luck! :D

        • avatar Pelly says:

          Cheers me ol’ mucker. I think I prefer it as it is now, it leaves itself open to many more animation options without the single minute stuck in the center. I think my favourite has to be the 1xMin and 2xMin purple Mini-Microbes Mode! Seeing as it’s LCD they could wriggle or crawl across the screen as each second passes.

  2. avatar Pelly says:

    Thanks for posting this one TF. This has to be my favorite one. So glad you like the concept and thanks very much for the feedback.
    I love the idea about the microbe starting off as a single cell organism and gradually getting bigger. Maybe you could add a tamagotchi style pet mode where you feed it and the longer it’s alive the weirder it gets.

  3. avatar Anders S says:

    Hmm, cool concept! I can’t remember seeing anything on the same theme, and it looks very technically achievable as well.

    The display options are a big plus in my book, in fact I came up with a variant on one of TF’s suggestions; keeping the hour and 10′s of minutes indication the same, the lit (or unlit) segments could form the single minute digit. And perhaps the center of the display could work as an am/pm indicator. It’d take some design work to get the digits properly legible, but that seems a small matter.

    This should be in with a fair shot. Best of luck!

    Btw, I seem to notice a sharp improvement in your renders… Nice work!

    • avatar Anders S says:

      The only downside I can see is that you’d scare away all the hypocondriacs out there…=)

      • avatar Pelly says:


      • avatar dzign555 says:

        Maybe he should call it “Germ,” “Disease” or “Contagion” and completely freak them out.

        • avatar Pelly says:

          Maybe to ease their worries it should have a “sanitise” button…this would simply be a placebo yet it would reset the display so the microbe could grow again. The microbe could then begin as a single cell organism at the Hour mark and the 10xMin mark and evolve or grow again!
          Maybe TF should make the screen touch sensitive so you have to risk your life to view the time lol

    • avatar Pelly says:

      Glad you like it Anders, thanks for the support. Tbh I had the same idea as you, making the microbe form the single minutes, but only after I had submitted it (ain’t that always the way lol). Or maybe even have little bits of bacteria, separate from the main microbe, counting these could give you the single minutes. You could clump some together too so you’d save time counting all those single “dots”, once they reach 3 mins they could form a singular blob of bacteria. It’d be like looking into a Petri dish.
      Thanks for the kind comments re my renders…it’s been a fun learning process these past couple of months. I did try blender but I had already been set in my ways with Sketchup. Old dog new tricks lol

      • avatar Anders S says:

        I hear you, that’s happened more times that I care to remember…=)

        The display certainly allows for a number of options, that’s for sure…

        I’ve had a look at Blender as well, but I haven’t managed to get into it either. Probably ’cause it’s easier just to keep using 3DS Max… But I’d like to learn it, so maybe I’ll put the effort in one of these months.=)

        • avatar Pelly says:

          I think I might do the same and see what all the fuss is about. I’ve got one more submission waiting in the wings and then that’s it from me for the time being. Think I’ll dedicate some time to learning blender and then submit about 20 all at the same time lol

  4. avatar Patrick says:

    Hi Pelly, I did not understand right away, but it is actually a very good idea and easy to read.
    I agree with Anders S, you made many progret for presentation.
    5 * / Yes, good job.

    • avatar Pelly says:

      Thank you for your kind words. So glad you like the design, it’s my favourite so far. I tried to make it easy to read yet confusing at first glance, trying to keep with the true TF spirit.

  5. avatar dzign555 says:

    Fantastic design, Justin!!

  6. avatar Pete says:

    Nice work Pelly, My favorite of your designs so far! :D I was going to suggest the same thing as Anders, if you could create the final digit using the snake of segments then the design woul dbe uber cool, the entire time created by one form in a mixyure of digital and analogue formats. Also love the idea that the time tellibg could evolve the longer you use the watch, I think you would need a nuke button just incase it evolved too far and wanted to escape the confines of the watch face and destroy the world! lol 5/Y Best of luck sir! :D

    • avatar Pelly says:

      Haha I’ll have to create a new watch to be worn on the other arm…call it “decontamination” and have it tell the time with fire lol.
      Glad you like the design Pete, I’m sure there’d be some way to create the single 0-9 digits using the body of the microbe. That’s something I will have a cheeky pop at soon. I’ll post the results here if that’s fine with TF.

  7. avatar Andrew Joy says:

    This germ based wrist watch concept is sure to infect the mind of anyone who views it. Nicely done & Good Luck.

    • avatar Pelly says:

      Cheers Andrew thank you for your support. I’m currently in the process of incubating those new time modes as TF and others have mentioned so hopefully TF can add these to the submission to help flesh out the idea.

  8. avatar mushy says:

    I like the basic original idea Justin. Could you incorporate seconds too somehow to add movement to the design? Anyway. 5Y Good luck with it. :)

    • avatar Pelly says:

      Thanks mushy, cheers for the support. Yes…I’ve given thought to seconds and seeing as it’s LCD and as such, always on, the longer Microbe would wriggle about with each second.
      The version with the smaller organisms which represent the 1&2 mins, they could swim around by moving each second. Even the “red 43″ version above, one of the clawed arms could swim around and hunt and devour little “single cell” organisms and eat them and get bigger.
      All of this I feel could really add a very unique feel and look to the whole design making it feel alive!
      I even had an idea of a virtual pet (tamagotchi)…it could be a separate screen at the push of a button and could start off as a single cell (one triangle) and simply feed it every so often and it’ll live in your watch and grow….and grow! At the push of a button you could drop a blob of food for it and then it would swim to it (imagine the old snake game from the old school mobile phones) and eat it.

      Lots of ideas. So hoping they get used one day. lol

  9. avatar Samukun says:

    Cool idea! I wished the last minutes wouldn’t be digital but also part of the organism. The number looks a bit wrong inside of the arbitrary looking display. But the idea is cool. The different looks of the display throughout the day create a nice diversion so you never know what to expect when you look at the watch. Good luck!!

    • avatar Pelly says:

      I agree that the solitary number inside the display looks a little off so that’s why I removed it in the updated images. I prefer it as a complete matrix display, many more display options are available this way and the overall design benefits extremely well from this.
      If TF were able to make the individual segments that little bit smaller then the organic look and feel of the display would look a lot more biological.
      Thanks for the support Sam, glad you like and thanks for your feedback it’s more than appreciated.

  10. avatar Nev says:

    Very impressive images.
    I like all of the variants, including the original, but think the one with the separate 1 and 2 minute segments (4:09) is my favourite.
    This one certainly should get made. Lots of excellent choices here for TF, or maybe incorporate multiple options in the final product to give the buyer the choice.
    Good luck and 5*/Y.

    • avatar Pelly says:

      Hi Nev glad you like and thanks for the support and the vote! I think the 4:09 version is my fav too. There’s just something about having lots of those little things growing and crawling on your arm that makes this watch so appealing. I think having all (except the version with the number in the middle) of the above variations will make this one popular for sure. I always like to have a few different options and to be able to put all of these into one watch seems very doable given the matrix display.

      All that’s left is to choose your colour. Do you think adding a “pet” mode would be fun or just overkill?

      • avatar Nev says:

        Sorry. Off the grid until today. I think the pet is probably a cool idea, but it would also ‘eat’ the battery life, so maybe not for regular interaction (but that would like the pet wouldn’t it :( ). Let’s see what TF make of it.

        • avatar Pelly says:

          Thats ok bud no need to apologise…ive been busy working and dealing with life etc too.
          Maybe if this was usb rechargable then the power consumption wouldnt be too much of an issue. That being said, seeing as its LCD its a candidate for a cheaper “button” battery type of watch which in turn would make production costs considerably cheaper.

          Just have to play the waiting game and see what TF decide.

  11. avatar Makkovik says:

    I like the overall look of those with a digit in the center & a continuous line. I also like the “sniffle” version. I like the “lozenge” digit. I’m not sure about if I prefer with or without the grid. The best would be to be able to change it whenever we want! I’d prefer a less zig-zag line, kinda like Sam “Genesis”.

    • avatar Makkovik says:

      To elaborate my last sentence: The 3rd pic (5:54 in green) has too much zig-zag at the bottom.
      The 6th, excluding the video, (9:20 in blue) is good.

      I like that it’s always on. It’s more interesting.

  12. avatar Pelly says:

    Thanks for your comments Makkovik, the triangular segments would created randomly as and when the watch is activated to tell the time. Then again if this a to be an always on watch then as each second passes the “body of the worm would move and wriggle giving a different shape to it.

    So although certain shapes may not be to your liking, I’m sure given enough time it’ll transform and gestate into a new form that pleases. As for the sharp and angular look of the worm, I’m hoping that if Microbe does go into production the TF could somehow shrink the individual LCD segments so that they would appear to be more organic in structure.

    It would be nice to have an option for the grid to be visible or hidden, not sure how they could do that though. That’s where their magical engineers come in I guess.

  13. avatar Pelly says:

    Would BE created randomly

  14. avatar Pelly says:

    Well with just one day left to go I would jut like to express my gratitude to all who voted, commented and gave support to this design.

    Thank you and fingers crossed it makes it onto a wrist sometime in the future….one day….the virus will spread lol