The idea of a real-world version of the Weasley’s clock from the Harry Potter series has been floating in the common psyche for quite a while.
There have long been various open-source maker tutorials on how to laser cut a clock and use a GPS tool to track family members or friends. But the Eta Clock, currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, is making the gadget available to the public in a simpler, pre-fabricated form.
The clock, which features laser cut icons for places like ‘home,’ ‘transit,’ ‘gym’ or ‘hospital’ on a 16 x 16-inch baltic birch plywood, pairs with a proprietary app that broadcasts the user’s geolocation to a server, which then relays to it the Wi-Fi-connected clock.
The user is represented by one of the differently coloured and sized aluminum hands, which move to a new spot on the clock when their actual location changes.
To ensure accuracy of locations, users can enter certain addresses in the app to match up with the set locations on the clock — although depending on how quickly the location updates, there could still be some scares — i.e. if the user drives by a hospital.
The Eta Clock is currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter for an early bird price of $420 CAD — it’ll be $545 CAD regularly — and promises to ship by summer of 2018.
Verdict: Not sticky.
The price is the most obvious issue with this clock — I’d personally much rather have the enjoyment of making it for less money — but there are other problems as well. The inclusion of a hospital icon is a recipe for nerve-wracking false calls, and of course there’s always the question of whether or not we should be tracking our loved ones in the first place.
I, for one, am glad neither of my parents were able to create a tool like this when I was a youngster, but for those who desire such a tool, I’d recommend making a simplified version yourself — and that way you get the added magical bonus of creating your own Weasley clock.