There’s something intriguing about low-fi solutions to high-tech problems and the Glance Clock is no exception. In today’s world, a missed Uber can be the difference between a confidence-inducing 5.0 rider rating and a clearly shameful 4.8. Glance Clock, a smart clock that launched at TechCrunch’s hardware battlefield in Las Vegas, looks more analog than digital at first glance (see what I did there). The team wants to make your life easier by notifying you of arriving Uber drivers. Of course, you could always use your Apple Watch, but that’s going to cost you three times what Glance will cost you.
The Glance Clock breaks with the idea that smart devices should cater to the individual. Beyond Uber notifications, the clock also lets you and your friends connect simultaneously over Bluetooth to display schedules side by side. There are a number of instances where this might be useful. Rather than logging into Google Calendar every time a project manager needs to view a teammate’s schedule, he or she could simply take a glance at the Glance Clock (I promise I’ll stop doing that).
You also can show off your competitive side by making it clear to everyone just how much better you are at running than your buddy Samantha. The Glance Clock lets you wirelessly humblebrag by displaying fitness goals of you and your frenemies on the same clock face. Before heading out, you also can conveniently check the weather.
The front face of the clock is made of cloth with an aluminum enclosure surrounding it. LEDs behind the face allow for the bright-colored notifications. Other devices like Amazon Alexa can connect to the clock to add other methods of interaction. When it ships, the clock will sync with a number of music and entertainment apps. Developers also can design custom features with IFTTT and Stringify.
Smart clocks are cool, but in a world of unnecessary Internet of Things devices, it can be difficult to identify their long-term value proposition. Anton Zriashchev, CEO of the company, imagines a future where public infrastructure could interact with your personal devices through Glance’s connected technology. For example, data from your phone could be collected and sterilized such that when you approach a vending machine, you get a deal specific to you as a customer on a Glance-like LED display. Zriashchev, of course, made a point to reiterate the need to prioritize data privacy and security as connected tech becomes more ubiquitous. Whether that dream is realistic is up for debate.
Glance Clock is available now on Indiegogo. Right now you can get one for 50 percent off, at $99. The price is set to incrementally increase to $149 and eventually $199. The clocks are expected to ship in February 2017.