You simply have to see this. Imagine an Etch-a-Sketch had sex with a lava lamp, and the resultant offspring was raised by adoptive digital clock parents. The result could only be the Ferrolic Display, a wonderfully bizarre time-telling device created by designer Zelf Koelman.
Eindhoven-based Koelman has harnessed ferrofluid, a/k/a ferromagnetic fluid, with electromagnets within the device to dynamically form the numbers. The Ferrolic is of course run on software, which means the device needn’t be a clock, but could presumably be hacked to deliver your text messages and the like.
However, in its current iteration the product wouldn’t last long. Still in the prototype stages, “the lifetime of the fluids used in the glass container module mainly depends on the frequency of use. In practice this lifetime is expected to be a few months of full usage,” Koelman writes. However, he also adds that “Ongoing development allows for a much longer lifetime in the near future.”
Without the means of mass production, Koelman is selling 24 prototype-stage Ferrolics for €7,500 (pre-tax), or about USD $8,576. Users can connect to the device via Wi-Fi and control it via web browser. As for the short lifespan, the language on the Inquiries page of Ferrolic’s website isn’t quite clear, but it appears one may be able to order updated glass modules in the future.