Not every build needs to be immediately useful or revolutionary. Plenty of builds are just for fun, for education, or even purposefully useless but still challenging. This clock, for example, might fit into all three categories. It’s a clock that displays time through a QR code, making it completely inscrutable unless you have a device which likely has its own readable clock on it already.
The QR Code clock comes to us from [Aaron] and is based on the now-ubiquitous ESP32 WiFi chip. The ESP32 is connected to a 64×64 LED matrix which is updated every second with a code for the current time. With single-second resolution that means that even with a method for reading a QR code by hand, like you sometimes can with barcodes, there’s no way to read it without a smartphone since it changes so rapidly.
Of course [Aaron] recognizes the flaw in his design in his video in which he notes tongue-in-cheek that with this clock you would never have to look at a smartphone again, since the clock is right there on the wall. We appreciate the humor and also that [Aaron] has made all of his source code available in case you would like to use this as an example project for using QR codes for more useful purposes. For now, though, we’ll just forward you along to some other useless machines.
Thanks to [willmore] for the tip!
28 thoughts on “Clock Is Not Readable By Humans”
Strangely, image won’t scan even with the most tolerable scanner apps
You could try to decode it by hand, with pen and paper.
Once every second?
You modify it to display the time in HH:MM format, so you have 60 seconds to decode it. Challenge accepted!
Shining and changing thing right in front of you, very disturbing.
The effect would be much better with e-ink (or mechanical) and update once a minute of once in 5 minutes.
ch00f did it in 2012 :) https://ch00ftech.com/qrclock/
Here is one in both QR and human readable:
Hrm for some reason my QR scanner says it’s invalid
Nice video… “You don’t need to look on your phone” only scan de QRcode with… your phone.
He says: “you don’t need to look at your smartphone ever again” Uh…..wait, your looking at your smart phone to read the QR code. So what your saying is I want to know the time and now I need to implement extra steps to do that. Thats progression?
Or… a joke. Woosh.
He really needs a defuser and a grid to make this really work. Even in his video he had to take a step back to scan the clock because his phone couldn’t make out the code due to the gaps between the pixels. I get the joke is to make the clock hard to read, but the added step of getting in just the right position might just ruin it.
Well now… I meant for this to be a separate comment, I even entered it into the comment box at the bottom. Somehow it got put here as a reply? Oddly it does kinda fit the thread.
Do you suspect there are too many fuses in this project?
Yes far too many! Lol, this is the penalty for trusting autocorrect.
It’s still useful to check that your smartphone has the right time (even with NITZ, it could be wrong in the network…)
Better check the source code to make sure it’s not a secret plot to get people to the point they can read the clock, then use it to distribute free samples of Snow Crash.
L Bob Rife has entered the chat…
absolutely stupid idea and useless. what a waste of time
Much like your comment.
So, if it updated only once a minute, might it be possible for a human to learn to read it? We learn all sorts of bizarre languages, and is this not just one more? Has anyone out there learned to read QR codes?
That’s awesome! This is the evolution of the blinking lights, I have just loved it!
Ahem. That’s “Blinkenlights”, youngster. ;-)
Just one thought, IR LEDs.
That would be awesome…. You could hide it so it’s not obvious there’s a panel. So many uses.
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