These days, there are more ways to keep time than ever before: our cell phones automatically update themselves through wireless networks; our computers keep sync with atomic clocks; even our cars, ovens and television sets keep track of and tell us the time.
Nevertheless, the watch endures as a classic icon of style, and it's thrilling to see how companies are trying to innovate on this very analog device in an increasingly digital world.
Part of the secret sauce in the watch's formula is how its powered. Most watches today rely on kinetic energy or a standard battery (and some aficionados still rely on wind-up). Devon's Tread runs on a their lithium polymer rechargeable cell that charges via wireless induction. According to the extensive manual (online as a PDF), you simply need place it in its futuristic display box and it begins charging.The watch doesn't run cheap: its starting price online is $17,500, making it worth more than most people's cars. But it's a delightful piece of eye candy, as well as more proof of concept for the potential of wireless induction. The kinetic watch has been around since the late 80s, and kinetic energy now helps power hybrid vehicles around the world.
An Xiao Mina is an American designer strategist and researcher who recently worked on the Gwangju Design Biennale's Un-Named Design exhibition. She focuses on the role of social media and communications technologies in building communities and empowering individuals. Find her on Twitter here.