Our editors have compiled a list of the "Top 10 Strangest Clocks" for your enjoyment. Which ones are your favorites?
10. Cathode Ray Tube Clock
As the name implies, this interesting clock -- developed by David Forbes -- consists of a 3-inch cathode-ray oscilloscope that bends the CRT beam to form bright and crisp numbers.
The PC board holds a switching power supply, a crystal-controlled microcontroller for generating the timing and scanning the digits, and an analog circle generator system to draw the digits. It makes circles directly from sine and cosine waves. That’s why the curves look so clean.
At first glance this clock looks no different from any other, but upon closer inspection you'll notice there isn't a battery slot. That's because it's water (or any other electrolytic fluid like beer) powered. The clock comes to life - displaying the time and date - after the liquid reservoirs located in the back are filled. An internal converter extracts electrons from any liquid and acts as a power generating fuel cell for the clock.
We've had ours running for weeks so far and the water levels have barely descended and we haven't had to refill it at all.
This gadget combines a motion-activated video camcorder with a fully functional LCD clock. It comes with 64MB of built-in memory -- good for 12 minutes of video (no audio) -- and can be further expanded via SD/MMC cards. To play the recorded video, just use the included USB cable and connect it to your computer for easy viewing.
7. Lexon's On-Off Alarm Clock
Available in a wide variety of different colors, the Lexon On-Off alarm clock is more than just a cool looking gadget -- featuring a tilting mechanism that can be used to set the alarm or for turning it off. It measures a compact 5.3" x 3.1" x 1.4".
While we're sure this will result in some exciting and violent early morning clock tilting action, we're not so sure how snooze functionality factors in
Based on the original rolling ball clock by Idle Tyme Corporation, this Lego version is a bit more amusing to watch -- complete with an RCX 1.0 and external supply to obtain longtime stability. Four video clips after the jump.
The clock works by using steel balls to indicate the exact time. The bottom rail represents the hours. The middle and upper rails are used to represent the minutes. An electric motor scoops up a ball every minute. Every five minutes, the top rail will dump and deposit a ball on the second rail. Every hour, the upper and middle rails dump and one ball is transferred to the bottom rail to increment the hours.
5. AXbo Alarm Clock
For an alarm clock that monitors your sleep patterns and wakes you at the best possible time, look no furthur than aXbo's Sleep Phase Alarm Clock. With support for up to two people, the Sleep Phase includes a sweatband with built-in sensor that wirelessly transmits your sleep pattern info to the clock. Ensuring that you don't oversleep, the alarm will sound within a 30 minute window before your desired wake time.
4. Functional Hard Drive Clock
Alan Parekh converted an old hard drive into a fully functional clock. It uses twelve high power LEDs to display the clock hands and a custom programmed PIC16F628 microcontroller for clock operation. Unfortunately, this creation isn't very practical as older hard drives are quite noisy.
Slot cut into upper drive platter and white tape on center drive platter provides a slot that when illuminated by the LED’s will represent a clock hand. Minute hand is represented by blue light, hour hand is represented by red light and the second hand is represented by purple (both blue and red on at the same time). Infrared Beam sensor and drilled index hole in lower drive platter. Three micro switches to set hours, minutes and seconds.
Now you don't even need to play Pong to enjoy it, presenting the Pong clock. The score shown on the left and right sides correspond to the time of day. A continuous random game of Pong is played by the clock every 24 hours.
2. Digital Clock T-Shirt
Powered by 4 x AAA batteries, this "Digital Clock T-Shirt" utilizes an electro-luminescent panel in front to display the time. The batteries -- hidden inside a compartment -- will last between 12 - 36 hours depending on the flashing mode selected.
And if the static display doesn’t fit your style you can select up to 8 different flashing patterns or even switch it to a stopwatch mode.
Amsuing yourself at work just got a bit easier with this "Rat Race Clock". Watch the mechanical rat run on the treadmill moving the "gears that advance the hour and minute hands". Powered by one 4D and two AA batteries, this clock can be had for just $24.99 from ComputerGear.
Honorable Mention - Nintendo Famicon Alarm Clocks
Put simply, these Nintendo Famicon-styled alarm clocks by Banpresto are the coolest we've seen. They come in "Excite Bike, Dr. Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Ice Climber or Super Mario Bros" models. No word yet on pricing and availability.
Honorable Mention - Giovannoni Timesphere
Priced at $150, the Giovannoni Timesphere is a nifty alarm clock that is capable of projecting the time onto any surface via a wireless orb.
While sitting on the base, the wireless orb is charged through induction and once it is completely charged feel free to place it wherever. The orb will project the time onto a wall or surface and easily be lost when kicked or played with by a cat.
This alarm clock doesn't come with a built-in MP3 player nor computer but its the first one we've seen that wakes you with a morning bugle call followed by an "inspiring round of orders" from a drill sergeant. It also features an LCD display, AM/FM radio, and even a special button (runs through the whole drill routine) that motiviates you when pressed.