All hail the open-source time machine!

  • (PC World (US online))
  • — 15 October, 2010 05:59

The Back to the Future fan inside of us may want to call him "Doc," but his name is Dan Henriksson -- and he has just constructed a really awesome representation of a time machine. (Great scott!) The time machine concept is a "working" prototype (appropriately titled "The Time Machine") and is actually the result of Henriksson's graduation work from the HDK design school in Gothenburg, Sweden. Not too shabby for an art project, eh?

Wait--Did I say it was a "working" prototype?

Yes I did, but it's not exactly "working" the way you were hoping, so put your wallets (and sanity) back to their original locations. According to Henriksson's website, The Time Machine works somewhat like a clock, but instead of displaying the current time, it's said to display "the user's own sense of time."

The How and What

The Time Machine has several sliders at the bottom that can be adjusted left or right. By interacting with the sliders, users can create their own "elastic timeline" in relation to real time. Henriksson says that the point is to let the user experience the personal feeling of timeflow through the "rush" and "drag" effects displayed by The Time Machine.

After adjusting the sliders, users will be able to experience the time paradoxes they've created by viewing The Time Machine's instant reaction to the changes, with an entertaining visualization executed by the analog clock.

Oh yeah, it runs on 24-hour time, so if you want to play with timelines you should do yourself a favor and start teaching yourself to count past the 12 mark (not that I'm any better, I still struggle with the idea of "13-o'clock", personally).

Open Source Inside

Henriksson used Arduino circuit boards, which are open-source electronics hardware and software "intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments." According to the Arduino Website, these circuit boards can sense the environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors, and can affect their surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators. The boards can be built by hand or purchased pre-made.

As for the actual full display itself, Henriksson used a CNC Milling Machine to etch out all of the designs and markings. These machines don't really come by cheap, so maybe you might want to ask Henriksson to borrow the one he used, if you plan on making your own. (But hey, if it can make you a time machine, why not? It couldn't cost any more than a DeLorean, after all...)

See it in action:

The Time Machine from Dan Henriksson on Vimeo.

Good job, Mr. Henriksson! I'm not sure what your final score was for this graduation project, but you certainly get an A+ from this fellow sci-fi geek.

To see more of Henriksson's work, and to see more photos of The Time Machine, check out his personal Website.

via io9]

Like this? You may also enjoy...

* Homebrew Walking Robot Powered by Chumby

* Control a Game of Tetris With Your Body and a Buddy

* Join in the First Robot Census

Follow GeekTech on Twitter or Facebook, or subscribe to our RSS feed.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Saetang

PC World (US online)
Topics: open source, software
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?