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Chronochrome: tell the time by using colour

Look, there's a mug too, to show how it would work in a real life setting
Look, there's a mug too, to show how it would work in a real life setting

In what might be the most pointless gadget of the century (we know it's only eight years old, but we think this is a real contender), the Chronochrome uses bands of colour to tell the time. You know, instead of hands.

There's a phrase that says 'if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it'. This should be extended to: 'If you're making a clock, don't get rid of the hands and round face and change it into a pole that lights up. Ever.'

Although the theory behind this makes sense (well, sort of) in that each pair of coloured bands relates to hours, minutes and seconds, each signalled by a 'distinctive colour', it still makes you wonder what kind of mind state the designer of this was in when he or she conceived it.

Colour the afternoon

The press release poses the question: 'What colour is twenty five past four in the afternoon?'. Actual answer: pink-yellow-red-green. TechRadar's answer: we don't care.

We also disagree it's an 'intriguing conversation piece that¹s both restful and relaxing', as anyone walking into your house would simply wonder why you have a stupid light-up sculpture on your desk, and the relaxation would vanish when you lose the time-colour chart you need to see what the time actually is.

And what if you're colour blind? NOT the clock for you, eh? (Actually, that's not true. Apparently colour blind people can use this too... which is nice.)

Perhaps we're being unnecessarily harsh. Perhaps many people will like this 'ingenious unit'.

If they do, then we've got a host of great ideas: A car made of ice, an edible coat and a pair of blow up headphones. Actually, we like that last one...

Gareth Beavis

Global Editor-in-Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.