CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again


Clocks for Robots: QR codes tell time for machines

Concept design uses QR codes to give time and place information to smartphones and other devices with artificial eyes. The QR code constantly changes to reflect the new time.

Clocks for Robots concept
According to my sensors, it's party time. Screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

We humans have clocks all over the place to tell time. But while we've been selfishly providing for ourselves, we've neglected the time-reading needs of robots, smartphones, and other machines.

The Clocks for Robots concept by London design consultancy BERG takes the needs of our future robot overlords to heart. The clock features a regular display that people can use and a constantly updated QR code for artificial eyes.

The QR code gives the time and location to portable devices. This could potentially tie in with real-world offers like coupons or signal to your smartphone what specials are currently active.

The QR codes could also help software recognize the time and date of photos for easier tagging and organization.

Related stories
• QR U?: Pop star dress gets beady with QR codes
• Barcode Gallery: QR codes become wall art

Clocks for Robots is playing with the idea of signage designed specifically for computers. "In a way, our clock is sort of the equivalent of holding up today's newspaper to a camera to prove that it is today and you are where you say you are," BERG designer Matt Jones says in a Clocks for Robots video presentation.

BERG is throwing this concept out there to see what further ideas it inspires.

Product sketch: Clocks for Robots from BERG on Vimeo.