Zelf Koelman of the Eindhoven University of Technology has designed an alarm clock that resembles a Rorschach test in motion. The clock—which is known as the Ferrolic—relies on the manipulation of magnetic fluids to display the time. “A few years ago I fell in love with the magical characteristics of a little black ‘blob’ in a bottle,” Koelman explains. “One could manipulate the position and shape of a floating drop of Ferro Fluid with a magnet. The dynamics and shape of this liquid body was much like a living entity. I decided to allow this entity to live its own life and have a function. A year of research and engineering eventually resulted in Ferrolic.”
Not only is Ferrolic able to tell time, it’s also customizable. Users can display text, shapes, and transitions by operating a web app that transmits information to the clock. This transforms the device into a tabletop piece of art that one can display around the house. Only 24 of these fascinating clocks have been made thus far, but the Ferrolic team has hinted that the appliance may become more accessible in the future.