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Magnetic, Digital Clock with Balls

Minute, magnetic metal balls form the hour, minute and second digits
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Gaze captivated as the tiny metal balls rearrange themselves from one number to the next, counting off the seconds and minutes. Behind the clock face lies a matrix of miniature electromagnetic coils each 2 mm (1/12 inch) in diameter. These are activated and deactivated in precise order and patterns to attract, move and hold the 2 mm balls. The transition between two digits, for example "2" to "3", is well choreographed to avoid dropping balls. During the shift, a "wave" of attraction from the number field's perimeter to a centrally collected oval insures that any stray balls are retrieved.

Behind the glass you may view silvery spheres in formation on a black background or cobalt blue balls moving over a beige surface. A wristwatch is being developed with 1 mm balls to dynamically display hours and minutes.

FarmerJohn, Sep 16 2002

sketch with hours & minutes http://www.geocitie...agneticdigital.html
[FarmerJohn, Oct 17 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

internet-manual, digital clock http://www.yugop.co...3/stuff/03/fla.html
[FarmerJohn, Oct 17 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Nice Computer/Wristwatch site http://elementoftime.com/time/
[thumbwax, Oct 17 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       I thought I'd like to comment on this one, but I don't know if I have the balls, you see....   

       Oh, well, here goes. How about suspending the balls in a liquid? There are 2 main benefits: they wouldn't get knocked around as easily, and their movements would be so much smoother. Hey, wait a second, wouldn't that make it a kind of liquid crystal display? Sorry!
Canuck, Sep 16 2002
  

       Rods Tiger: I like the click sound.   

       Canuck: I see disadvantages: no "click", more friction, might get easily loosened by movement of the liquid. One big advantage: without having to fight gravity, the coils could be made weaker.
FarmerJohn, Sep 16 2002
  

       This just sounds like a FarmerJohn idea. +
sartep, Oct 17 2004
  
      
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