Underclocked was a four weeks project under the Master’s course Embodied interaction at Malmö University.
Underclocked is a watch that looks like a regular watch but behaves like a “Nonobject”, that is instead of showing the time it displays the word ‘NOW’. The aim of the project is to create mindfulness by bringing awareness of the moment. As a response to and criticism of western society’s relation with time we created a Non-object prototype and we called it Underclocked.
By creating a non-object clock Underclocked we generated an unusual time-experience. The ‘regular’ clock shows the time by letting the user interpret the numbers, pointers, etc that are located on the screen. In contrast to that our device points at ‘now’, thus challenges the user whenever she/he interacts with it. We satisfied our brief by creating a non- object clock which with it attributes, transforms the space between the user and the object.
Our low-fidelity prototype was made using Arduino and accelerometer.
As long as the user hangs her/his arm the device works as a ‘normal’ clock. While the arm lifts however the device turns into a non-object clock. During this action, within two phases, the functions and display of the device change and in its final state it shows ‘now’ on the screen.
The attributes of our Underclocked being a non-object, not functioning as expected, interrupts the user’s routine. For us the realization that the person is rather in the now than further in time makes it embodied interaction. Embodiment means this combination of physical and mental action, when the user lifts her/his arm and looks at the clock that triggers the awareness of the body and mind being here and now.
The final design is the NOW app for Pebble