This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

In a seemingly endless parade of alarm clock innovation, here's the next attempt, one that looks like a clapboard used in Hollywood movie productions. It's the kind of idea, though, that started out in the right direction but somehow lost its way.

The clock's Chinese Korean creators decided this was a "moving clock for your goal," giving you a slot to place whatever motivational phrase you desire. Many phrases are already included, but unfortunately they won't mean much to English speakers.

Build one like this, and we'll buy it:

This replica of a clapboard is more nostalgic than realistic. In the old days, they used to actually write on the clapboard with chalk, showing date, scene/shot number, director, and other information pertinent to the production. The actual clapboard was audibly "clapped" against the bottom part of the thing while it was being filmed at the beginning of every shot, so the film and separately-recorded audio track could be accurately synchronized.

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

Of course, gadgetry has taken the place of those old-style clapboards. Modern-day clapboards are much more useful, using digital technology. Those of us who are familiar with motion picture and video production clapboards (also called slates, pictured at right) know that this alarm clock would be much more realistic if its designers would have used red LEDs. In a real digital slate, the red LEDs show running time code or film edge numbers. Build one that looks just like the digital slates we use in production these days, and substitute time and alarm numbers instead of time code numbers, and we'll be first in line to buy one.


By the way, why is there a move away from red LEDs for alarm clocks? We find them less intrusive to the darkness and easier to read than blue LEDs, and much better overall than LCDs that require you to push a button to illuminate their backlights.

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