Learn to value your freetime PROJECT: Tangible Interaction CONTEST: Wired Magazine Japan Creative Hacker Finalist

This personal project is a critique on how we value time. The freetime clock is a clock that only displays how much freetime you have left in the day. Most calendars and schedulers show freetime as negative space, something to be filled with appointments and meetings. Many people should actually view time in an opposite way. Freetime is a resource, and everything else we schedule requires us to give this resource away. This is how the freetime clock displays time, with freetime as the positive value, and appointments taking freetime away. By making the sacrifice of freetime clear, it will hopefully stop the user from overscheduling.

At the beginning of the day, the clock adds up the free spaces in your schedule and rocks to the left, the angle of which depends on how much freetime you have. As the day goes by, it rocks slowly back to the right, showing your freetime being used. If you add an appointment to your schedule, the clock suddenly moves a large amount, representing the time you just gave away. If you see a coworker with their clock rocked far to the right, and the day has only just started? Perhaps its best not to bother them.

In the video above is a working prototype. On the computer screen at the location of the mouse cursor is a schedule counting down a daily schedule at an accelerated rate. At the beginning of the day, the clock rocks to the left, representing the amount of freetime available. Since nothing is available, the whole day is freetime. As time counts down, the clock rocks from left to right. When a schedule item is added, the clock moves a large amount, physically representing the chunk of freetime that has been taken away. Though not shown in the video, the clock also stops rocking when it reaches an appointment, and continues again when the appointment is over. At the end of the day, it resets, and queries the calendar for the next day's schedule.