A clock that mimics human memory.


The Interactive Show, NYC Resistor, Brooklyn, NY, June 8, 2024


“ClockWise” is an open source “smart” clock that will only tell you the time it was the last time you checked it. Using a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and face detection, the clock can identify its viewer and show them only the time the last they looked at the clock face. According to German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus’s studies in the 1880s, it was found that within an hour of learning new information, people forget upwards of 50% of that data. In 24 hours, this increases to 70% and so on. Ebbinghaus titled this memory relapse the “forgetting curve” and discovered that without some form of reinforcement of information, people will forget up to 90% of what they have learned. Utilizing a combination of face detection software and artificial intelligence, ClockWise plays on our inability to remember the time, all but forcing us to figure out the time in other ways. As a clock with only recall memory, ClockWise plays on Ebbinghaus’ discovery that the average person will remember less than 20% of what they learned if they haven’t taken the time to reinforce their knowledge.

Demo – Try it Out Here: https://www.clockwise.coin-operated.com


The project is a software based analog (flip) clock running on a Raspberry Pi  that connects to a camera to detect its viewer’s face. If it sees a face it recognizes, it will display the time of the last time the viewer checked the clock. 



  1. Camera detects if someone is looking at it using face detection.
  2. Clock changes to the last time the camera detected the same face – if the face is a match, the last time is displayed. 
  3. If a new face enters the camera’s viewpoint, the clock will record the time and store it and display it.