Why BYO Clock?At johncode we firmly believe that the future of clocks and watches (even analog) is going to be digital. Some may say that it already is, but not yet. We are now starting to see some beautiful electronic watches, with really nice screen definition. For the most part these clocks or watches are stuck with their preset designs or may allow some subtle changes.
At johncode we want to make a step towards the future and allow anyone to build their own clocks and share them if they so feel. A software based clock is no more than a series of layered images moving at specified time intervals. Based on this premise we created a new file format called the Clock Interchange File Format (or CIFF) that can handle all the information that defines a clock design.
Since the future of electronic clocks and watches will be based on all sorts of devices, from the powerful mobile devices to the not so powerful embedded designs, we needed an easy-to-parse and render file format. The CIFF files are very straight forward and abide to some rules to make them very easy to parse. The layered bitmaps design of the clock makes for easy rendering as well. Using layered bitmaps requires some processor power and throughput, but this is now becoming commonplace on even the smallest of devices.
Currently BYO Clock requires some effort from the user since you have to write the CIFF file yourself. In the future you will be able to design the clocks with GaugeMaster and just import them to BYO Clock. Until that time comes we will offer BYO Clock for free to compensate for the effort!
If you are into designing embedded systems, please feel free to use the CIFF format for your projects. We would love to do it ourselves, but our current projects don't allow us to have fun with embedded systems at this time.
Rest assured that the CIFF format will evolve as we explore this fascinating world of clock and watch building together.
Please bare with us as we open the Pandora's box of the future of electronic time displays!