Space is a very precious commodity these days, whether it’s a floor, a desk, or any other surface you can place things. We sometimes have to be smarter about the products we buy, often picking things that can serve more than one purpose while occupying the same space. Some things, however, best serve a single purpose only, though that purpose sometimes loses meaning depending on the day. A clock, for example, should only tell the time, but that function becomes meaningless when no one is around to see it anyway. This concept design thus gives the humble desk clock another function when it’s not in use, merging it with another product that ironically loses its purpose when people are actually home.
Designer: Jungmin Park
There are some products that wouldn’t cross paths under normal circumstances, especially when they have seemingly opposite use cases. A clock, for example, is only meaningful when there are people around to actually look at it. In contrast, a home security camera is most useful when there’s no one around. swap is a design concept that tries to smash these two opposite home products together, creating an object that not only saves space but also changes with the owner’s lifestyle in an almost playful manner.
swap almost looks like a toy at first glance, especially with its pastel colors. It even feels like a toy with the way the circular head flips over like a coin, depending on its mode. One side shows a minimalist analog clock face with no second hand or numbers along the ticks. The other side is a nondescript camera that might be similar to common webcams.
The most interesting part of the concept, however, is how smart swap is, or at least tries to be. It can automatically switch between those two modes, showing the clock when you’re at home and switching to a security camera when you’re out. It mostly does so by detecting the location of your phone on the presumption that if it’s out of the house, you’re most likely out as well. Of course, you can also manually switch between modes or lock the device to a specific mode. There will be an audible notification whenever you switch modes, so you won’t be caught off-guard. There’s also an extra feature where you can display a countdown timer to the next schedule on your phone’s calendar app. This timer is displayed on an LED dot matrix on swap’s body.
You might not be entirely convinced of the need for combining clock and camera functions, but swap, fortunately, serves another, though indirect, purpose. Given its aesthetic, it can also be a cute decor for your desk or shelf, so you aren’t exactly losing space if you place this multifunctional product somewhere in your home.