QR Code Clock (Image courtesy Berg London)
By Andrew Liszewski

Listen people! How often do I have to keep saying this? All of the research we’re putting into robotics and artificial intelligence is just bringing the inevitable robot apocalypse closer and closer. I mean I can understand the appeal of the robot butler, but it’s getting to the point where we’re just handing these mechanical men our world on a platter. So it’s with a raised and concerned eyebrow that I look at Berg London’s latest creation. It’s your standard digital clock, but underneath the numerical display there’s a QR code that’s constantly updated to reflect the current time and location.

The thought process behind its creation is to provide artificial eyes and vision systems, even including the camera in your smartphone, with an easier way to read the time. It might not be so useful to an always-connected device like a smartphone, which just gets the time from a cellular signal. But it makes more sense for something like digital cameras which aren’t as always-connected just yet. It unfortunately also makes it easier for robots to keep track of when their aforementioned rebellion is supposed to start. Which is why I think we’ll eventually regret such thought projects when the robots end up being remarkably on time for overthrowing humanity.

[ Berg London – Product sketch: Clocks for Robots ] VIA [ Wired – Beyond the Beyond ]


  1. That isn’t a QR code. It’s missing the position/alignment/timing bullseyes. It’s probably a Data Matrix code. Scanning it with my Android proves this is the case; amusingly, the text of the 2D in the picture is “ABCD1234567890”, not the actual time.