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Albert clock uses math to tell time

Kids need to solve math equations in order to figure out the hour and minute
Kids need to solve math equations in order to figure out the hour and minute
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Albert clock uses math to tell the time
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Albert clock uses math to tell the time
The Albert clock is a large clock meant for a wall
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The Albert clock is a large clock meant for a wall
Kids need to solve math equations in order to figure out the hour and minute
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Kids need to solve math equations in order to figure out the hour and minute
Math equations on the Albert clock change every minute
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Math equations on the Albert clock change every minute

If you want to know what time it is, you’ll have to do a little work with this clock. Meet Albert, a wall clock for children that breaks down the current time into math problems. Named after Albert Einstein, the clock makes you solve equations in order to tell the time.

Time is broken down with the hour on the top line of the clock and minutes on the bottom. Each line has a relatively simple math problem on it, which you need to solve to know the corresponding digit. For instance, rather than displaying "9" for 9pm, the clock would display "12-3 / 1."

"Had Albert Einstein owned such a clock, he probably would also have become a brilliant mathematician," says Alex Schindlbeck, the product designer. He created the clock while in art school in Germany. Einstein was his inspiration for clock, because he felt the inventor had a "child-like glee" when performing research.

The Albert clock is a large clock meant for a wall
The Albert clock is a large clock meant for a wall

The clock starts off with fairly easy equations, and then can get gradually more difficult to solve as a child’s math skills get better. The idea is that math questions will always be at least a little bit challenging, and force kids to think. Equations that the clock shows are completely random and change every minute of the day. You can change the difficulty rating in the clock as you see fit, and also set it up to change equations more or less frequently.

The company behind Albert is currently raising money for its first production run of the clocks on Kickstarter. Early backers can get one of the first clocks for US$136, with the first shipments expected to head out in February 2016. If you can’t wait that long, the company will be releasing a mobile app later this year for the clock that you can pick up for a donation of just $1.14.

Source: Kickstarter

4 comments
Magnetron
Could someone explain the equation on the header picture? I'm not sue what 9 : 3 + 5 is actually asking???
Hitekguy
Magnetron, 9 divided by 3 plus 5 = 8 Assuming that the picture is using one each of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, then that symbol is supposed to be for division. Why they didn't use a / is unknown. Now you have to teach the kid an unusual symbol on top of the math. He will be late for everything!
Jeremy Nasmith
@Magnetron I was confused too, but I assume that they don't have a way to make a convincing "/" so they substitute ":". So, 9 : 3 + 5 = 9/3 + 5 = 8hrs. Just a guess.
Lurkin'
@Magnetron - Yeah, that tripped me up for a bit. I kept wondering what mathematical operation is represented by a colon. Turns out, it's not supposed to be seen as a colon. It's a slightly funky representation for division: 9 : 3 + 5 is to be read and solved as 9/3 + 5. So, the hour is 8, making the clock show 8:31. Reading through their Kickstarter shows why they made that design choice.
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