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IdealTick Kit respects our subjective perspective on time, encouraging users to create an individual time scale that corresponds with their perception of the time target.




Interaction design


4 months

Perception of Time

The passage of time is constant, but our perception of the passing time varies greatly: we can´t wait to count down every day until holidays start or birthdays arrive, but when it comes to leaving a beloved place or an upcoming professional deadline we would like to stretch time longer if we could. But so far all our calendars calculate time mechanically, and in doing so they are ignorant of our emotion. 

Research question

How to create a timer that takes our perception of time into account?


IdealTick Kit 

Instead of an identical mechanical flow of time, the user can subjectively define the physical length of the countdown, the retraction speed will then be calculated accordingly to create a correct end time. The user can also switch between the three remind -modes: Swing, vibration, shadow, depending on the priority of events. Being synced with the users mind set „IdealTick Kit" become animated objects in their surroundings. The location, the orientation and the ever-changing length of the scale are reminding users in a delightful way of a specific upcoming event.

How to use it

Step 1: Set the subjective time length

Pull the handle to set what you think is the physical length of time for the upcoming event


Step 2: Input objective time and event

Use a marker to write down the time and hours on whiteboard paper.


Step 3: Confirmation

When the confirmation button is pressed, the device automatically recognizes the date and time name internally and communicates the data with the digital terminal.


Step 4: Creat physical countdown

Hang it on Swing's Wall Reminder!


Step 5: The subjective length shows

The timer spits out the length we pulled earlier and calculates the speed of retrieval to make sure it's retrieved in the allotted time.


Step 6: Countdown starts

The timer starts to retract at the calculated rate and the user can visualize the length of time remaining.


Step 7: Set the remind time point

Mark with a pen on the band the point in time you wish to be reminded.


Step 8: Remind at the time point

Mark with a pen on the band the point in time you wish to be reminded.


Step 9: Time's up

The user will be reminded when the time runs out

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converted to...

Chose the reminder!


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Place it by Spatial memory


Functional prototype

Hardware and programming

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  • Camera OCR Recognition

After processing the image, the date can be recognized and converted into the desired format and then subtracted from today's date to obtain the date difference.

  • Gear motor

  • Hall Sensor

The Hall sensor recognizes the number of laps and thus calculates the length of strap entered by the user

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  • Sound base

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  • Speed and PWM 

Retract Speed =      Length    /    Date Difference

Then calculate the speed and map it to the PWM value of the DC motor, but the specification of the motor itself is limited, and a high torque motor is required

  • Sway base

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  • Shadow base

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Three crucial functional parts:

  • Visual recognition of date and event name

  • Calculate the contract speed and convert it to PWM

  • Control to three actuators with the same value and set - up ( vibration motor, DC motor, LED light) 


Asthetic Prototype

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Visualize the perception of length of time for countdown

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7 days before submission Deadline 

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7 days before Holiday

With a simple pull, the user can define the length of the countdown strap. Instead of an identical mechanical flow of time, the user can subjectively define the physical length of the countdown, the retraction speed will then be calculated accordingly to create a correct end time. 

User experience exploration


Input the desired time length


Input the exact time 

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Hang it on the wall

experience the physical contract of time

To be reminded when time's up or passing 

There are two parts of the user experience that are unknown
1. how to tell the machine the exact time to retract the rope with the correct end time?
2. after hanging it on the wall, what the user can do with it to set the point in time to
be reminded?

Version1 : retract with sight

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Exact time input:  Voice Input
Reminding: When someone's around retract the tape to remind


Version2: control the speed of time


Exact time input:  Voice Input
Reminding: Set the speed of retracting to make different reminding

Version3: switch to make it sway or not 


Exact time input:  Voice Input
Reminding: Sway to remind when people passing by 

Final User Experience

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The final user experience is that the user can write the correct time on the paper and leave their feelings to the length of the paper tape.










And one can mark the paper tape to mark a reminder.

There can be three types of reminders, sound, sway, and shadow, and you can switch between modes by selecting different bases


Their reminders are weak to strong and can be combined with the environment they are in, combining our memory with space.

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