Smartphones need charging every day, and those hours when they're plugged into the wall and charging is time when they're doing nothing. Not so with Spira, which turns your smartphone into a work of art while its battery is being replenished.

Spira is the work of Alice Robbiani, an interactive design student at École cantonale d'art de Lausanne (ECAL) in Switzerland. Before the phone is attached, Spira is a rather plain frame featuring a solid shape design. But the whole thing comes alive when your smartphone is attached using the magnetic case provided.

Once attached, your phone's battery is replenished via inductive charging. In the process, thermochromic paint within the frame heats up, revealing an intricate spiral pattern.

The accompanying Spira app on your phone has two different functions. The first displays white spheres which record the charging process, each sphere representing 10 percent of battery life. The second displays a working clock which remains static even if the phone is rotated; the spiral design on the frame completes the face of the clock.

Spira, which can be seen in action in the video below, is Robbiani's diploma project, and is therefore just a one-off that isn't being offered for sale. However, this simple design shows that there are ways we can charge our smartphones without limiting them to sitting idly by the sides of our beds – which we all seem to have accepted as the only option.

Source: ECAL via Fast Company

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