There are plenty of ways to do the two things that Spira does: Charge your phone and tell you the time. But there's nothing quite like the device that interaction design student Alice Robbiani has built to combine them—her inductive charger turns your iPhone into an interactive wall clock while it charges.
For her thesis at ECAL in Lausanne, Robbiani built an inductive charging dock for her iPhone and an app, called Spira, that displays charging levels on the screen using balls that each represent 10 percent of your phone's battery life. The dock itself is attached to a metal frame, which looks like a simple wall mount until you actually put your phone down on it: The face of the frame is painted in thermochromatic ink, and displays a clock-like pattern when the phone is charging.
Here's the cool part: When you rotate your phone vertically, the face becomes a clock that corresponds to the thermochromatic clock face on the frame:
So not only is your phone now being charged inductively—it's acting as an ad hoc wall clock while you wait, which Robbiani calls "a place of honor in the home atmosphere."
It's a novel (and unfortunately, one-off) concept, but it's a pretty incredible prototype considering that Robbiani is still a student. And as far as ways to integrate your smartphone with your home-based systems, it couldn't be more clever. [CreativeBOOM; ECAL]