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This Arduino-powered clock tells time in colors

Arduino TeamOctober 7th, 2020

As humans, we’ve divided time up into 24 hours per day, 60 minutes per hour, and 60 seconds per minute. With many of us now working from home on differing schedules, time may seem a bit less concrete than before, like something that fades from one part of the day to another.

To express this new reality, e14 Presents’ Matt Eargle has constructed a clock that cycles through “every” color in the rainbow, subbing in a scaled version of the HH:MM:SS time value for RGB values on a 5” LCD TFT display.

The build is powered by an Arduino Uno with an RTC module for accurate timekeeping. The resulting color panel is quite interesting, if not so useful for, say, catching a train. If you do need to be punctual for something, the actual digits are shown along the side, so it should still be usable when things are (hopefully) a bit more normal.

In the socially-distanced, work-from-home apocalypse of Southern California, clocks have become obsolete as time has become essentially meaningless. After months of no longer using an alarm clock, Matt has missed the simple act of checking the time — even for curiosity’s sake — and decides to build a clock that measures the passage of time in a completely novel way: by converting hours, minutes, and seconds into hexadecimal values and displaying the relative color value associated with that time. It’s certainly not the most practical chronometer in the world, but this hexadecimal color code clock proves that form doesn’t always have to follow function!