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The hands on this clock are made from an experimental magnetic rocket fuel

Ferrofluid Clock

If everyone’s favorite Marvel symbiote Venom was a clock, what would it look like? That may sound like a riddle, but it’s not. It’s a Kickstarter campaign. Simply called Ferrofluid Clock, it’s an analog desk clock in which the hour and minute hands are made of an oily dark magnetic liquid, called ferrofluid, held in place by hidden magnets behind the face.

This magnetic liquid was invented by NASA in the 1960s to use as possible rocket fuel. Since then, many creative types have seized upon ferrofluid as a material due to its unusual, almost alien appearance and movement. Now you can use it to tell the time, too. (Note: the liquid used here, unlike NASA’s original version, is non-combustible.)

“Since I first discovered ferrofluid four years ago and decided to design products around it, my first idea was to have a flat-panel display with ferrofluid inside of it,” creator Matt Robison, CEO of MTR Designs, told Digital Trends. “Now that it’s done, I wanted to introduce it to the world in a beautiful product that is also useful. After trying different prototypes I decided on an analog desk clock. We hand-craft the clock body from wood. It’s a very beautiful stand-alone product, [with a] detachable flat panel display that really gets your imagination going when you interact with it.”

The Ferrofluid Clock is comprised of two pieces. There’s the transparent flat front panel containing the ferrofluid liquid. Then there is a back piece featuring the clock face. A custom high-torque quartz clock movement is used to move hidden magnetic arms, which pulls the ferrofluid around the face. You can manipulate the ferrofluid yourself using a magnet, but once you release it, it will spring back to its proper position for continued timekeeping. Because the clock face is only a 2D-printed design, you can also choose to create or print your own to customize the look of the finished product.

“This will appeal to anyone who has a fascination with science, magnetism, art, or even lovers of unique design elements,” Robison continued. “I find that people with engineering mindsets are the most likely buyers of ferrofluid products, but the people who spend the longest amount of time playing with ferrofluid are children. Give a child a magnet and some ferrofluid and there goes the rest of the day.”

As ever, we offer our usual words of caution about Kickstarter projects. However, if you’re aware of these and nonetheless keen to get involved you can head over to the campaign page to pledge your cash. Prices start at $339, with an estimated shipping date of February 2020.

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
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