A Clock That Measures Time With A Ruler

"You’re fired! That’s the last time you’ll be 3 millimeters late!"

Despite the craftsmanship behind generations of timepieces, your classic 12-hour watch has a pretty arbitrary method to display the time. Time isn’t circular. It may have a repeating pattern, but 1 p.m. today is different to both us and the larger universe than 1 p.m. tomorrow.

Lineær (PDF) is a concept by Norwegian University of Science and Technology student Audun Ask Blaker that measures out the time with a rolling measuring tape, rather than circling us round and round. "There is a strange connection between time and space, and I cannot seem to find a sufficient and easy conceptual model of what time REALLY is," Blaker writes Co.Design. "I realized that many (including me) think of time in a linear way, just like on a measuring band."

So Blaker shows us the time as many of us think of it, a momentary tick on a ruler without end. The bare-bones presentation is scientifically elegant: Each number is an hour. Each hash represents five minutes. (So there are 12 hashes per hour, much like there are 12 unique hours in a day.) As soon as you adopt the base 12 system, Lineær is entirely clear.

Though that might be Lineær’s fatal flaw: In a country that still refuses to go metric, it’s hard to imagine Americans measuring time in anything but inches and feet.

[Hat tip: trendsnow]

• I'm afraid it's not a new idea. The "tape measure clock" was a common design for traveling alarm clocks in the 1920s. Searching for one is what brought me to this site. I have found a few on ebay.

• "Whats done is done" is the logic I guess..everything we lived is behind us on a linear pattern not on a circular pattern. However it causes also to feel what if vice versa?? :)

• If they can work in a light so I can tell the time at night, I'd buy the hell out of this.

• This is a kickstarter project waiting to happen.

• I  think Mark said what he meant, basically that it might be as hard for Americans to change the traditional time format in favor of Lineær’s as it has been for them to leave inches and feet behind.

Cool concept, wonder if how it would alter time management an perception throughout the day.

• Don't you mean "it's hard to imagine Americans measuring time in inches and feet."? "Anything but" implies that's what they're doing now.

• No, he said it correctly. That is what they're doing now...

• What Phil said.  I want this!  Many of them!