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This Connected Pendulum Makes Your Money Tangible Again

With one glance you can see how much is in your checking and savings accounts.

With all the credit card swiping, Apple Paying, Venmo-ing, PayPal-ing, and autopaying, it can be hard to keep track of just how much money is in your account on a daily basis.

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Flux, a device created by the German designer Peter Sörries, tries to reverse that trend, giving you a real-time visualization of your bank account balance in the form of a 3D-printed pendulum. It’s a clock-like interface that makes your bank account tangible and touchable–literally.

A simple tap on Flux’s round body retrieves data from the user’s savings and checking accounts, and the two cords that hang from the body adjust to give a general visual indication of how much money is available in each, as a percentage of the total amount across both accounts. And if you notice your accounts are out of whack, for example if it’s the end of the month and you need a little more cash before your next paycheck? A simple tug on the checking account cord will transfer funds to that account. If your savings look a little on the slim side, a tug on the savings account cord moves money over.

Sörries says that the device’s simple design and neutral color enable Flux to blend into the wall, rather than serve as a constant reminder. Its subtlety has cultural implications as well: “In Germany it is impolite to talk about, for example, money matters or salary,” he says. “So I decided to keep this abstract output of the two pendulums as some kind of data protection.”

Though Flux is just a prototype, perhaps the device’s most interesting quality is its ability to act as a reminder to check in on your finances. In a world of digital transactions, money can be hard to visualize. Flux makes it tangible again.

About the author

Katharine Schwab is a contributing writer at Co.Design based in New York who covers technology, design, and culture. Follow her on Twitter @kschwabable.

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