Dotkloks For The Hacker in Your Family

If you or someone you care about is a hardcore fan of open source and hacking, then this clock (or should I spell it Klok?) is definitely one way to bring their interests out in the real world.


This Dotklok was designed by Andrew O’Malley and is essentially an open-source, Arduino based digital clock which, as the name suggests, tells time using a screen of dots. The clock tells time in a variety of ways, drawing upon a bunch of different animation patterns, some of which are classically inspired by retro video games, making this the perfect gift for your geeky, sleepyhead of a boyfriend/girlfriend.


Some of the animations you can include are very basic variations on ways to count time, like floating time, counting by seconds, counting by percentage of the day, or 4 minutes per dot time. Other animations come off as much more familiar and much more fun, like Pong time, which is programmed so that the right side wins once a minute, and the left side wins once an hour. It also features a time mode inspired by a collection of 80s video games, such as Pac-man, Tetris and Space Invaders, where each minute produces a random animation that changes the time.


The clock itself is really simple and looks to be the size of a standard alarm clock, tilted onto its front. It comes with either a red or green LED screen, and features 12 different preprogramed animations including some of the ones mentioned earlier. In terms of its other features, there are 24/12 hour modes, a random mode which changes the animation at midnight every day, a 10cm x 6.5cm LED display, a dedicated real-time clock, 4 buttons and a slide on the side to switch animations and a fully open source code that can be modified by the owners.


The clock is also fully hackable. The circuit board has a prototype area and all the unused Arduino pins are packaged with it so that you can customize it and make it as useful (or uselessly entertaining) as you like.

According to technoetc, the Dotklok is available through O’Malley’s Etsy shop for $150 – $200, and are sold as either kits or fully assembled. Also notable about these clocks is that they are quite popular, and are on back order for a while, so if you decide to pick one up, expect a wait time for shipping. You can check out other cool clocks like this fancy Vinyl wall clock or or these examples of the geekiest clocks ever made.