Actuators Transform Dominoes Into a Clock

These panels might look like a modern art installation, but they actually make up the Domino Clock produced by the Carbon Design Group. It takes something old school and gives it a facelift. In a busy world that constantly pings, rings, and buzzes at us, the motivation for designing such a timepiece is to “de-tech” a room and create a more tranquil space.

The dominoes pattern is transformed into a way to tell time by actuators. Each over-sized domino panel is composed of articulating black dots with white on the reverse side. Behind each dot, is an actuator that flips the dot from black to white. The first panel is reserved for the hour of the day and the other two are for the minutes.

In addition to creating a functional object from an iconic game piece, Carbon Design Group wanted to capture the distinct feel and texture a domino tile possesses. The motion is designed to include the sense of gravity that is part of the flipping movement. Initially, this posed a problem – the clock was supposed to create a peaceful mood, but the noise of the dots changing color would be counter-productive. Low-cost wireless communication integrated into the mechanism allowed the dots to change smoothly and quietly from white to black, black to white.

The award-winning Domino Clock was part of the design group’s “Passion Project.” The panels of the clock can be hung on a wall or stand sculpture-like on their own.


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One Response to Actuators Transform Dominoes Into a Clock

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