Jon Filitti

Jon Filitti

Editor

I’m excited to tell you about a new tech product that allows you to stay connected but in a very subtle and elegant way.

The Glance Clock is a new take on the old wall clock. But instead of just telling you the time and date it connects to all the important information you need throughout your day. It’s a gorgeous product and I’ve been waiting to get my hands on one. While I was waiting patiently, I was able to snag Anton Zriashchev, the creator of Glance Clock for an interview.

Jon Filitti:
Hello Anton, I really appreciate you taking the time to let me explore the development of Glance Clock. I’m excited about this product and can’t wait to get my hands on one so exploring the process from concept to design to development will be fascinating. Can you give me a quick overview of Glance Clock?

Anton Zriashchev:
It’s a clock from the first look. It looks like a normal clock with physical hands and there is some magic inside. It has build in bright full-color LED display and a high-quality speaker, so the clock is able to attract your attention to show you important information. It shows you daily appointments through integration with Google or Outlook calendar, give you information about the weather, remind you about important things, show you your progress on numbers that you’re tracking, the steps that you’ve taken during the day for instance.

It even can be connected to your smart home system and alert you if there is something unexpected happened, like temperature in the room goes down or the back door has been opened. In short it’s a smart wall clock that shows you valuable information at the moment you really need it.

Photograph via Glance Clock

Jon:
I love that it’s called Glance Clock, since that is exactly what it can be used for; glancing up to see what is upcoming for your day. When and how did you come up with the idea?

Anton:
I’ve come up with the idea around a year ago. I was inspired by a book “Enchanted Object” written by David Rose MIT Media Lab professor. David explains his vision of internet of things and how ordinary things become enchanted by utilizing computer power and cloud connectivity.

For example, an enchanted umbrella will tell you the chance of rain and if you need to take the umbrella with you; an enchanted plate will tell you nutrition information; an enchanted seat will switch music to help you relax. He also shares his childhood impressions on the analog barometer, how simple it is. Just one hand and it tells you exactly what you expect from it, the weather condition.

This was the first part of my thoughts around Glance Clock concept. The second part was an actual problem that we all had. We are data overloaded. IoT and the Internet itself are generating a ton of information that we have to pay attention to. In general, there is only one way to interact with digital data around us is checking our smartphones every single minute. In many cases we are doing that with no purpose, just to be in a loop and get quick updates on small changes that happen on Facebook, currency exchange rates, traffic situations, etc.

I realized that I wanted to simplify the way how we get notifications and updates while busy doing our work or spending time with family. On another hand, I did not want to develop a plastic-glass-metal piece of technology with a bunch of functions I wanted to bring new value to the existing thing. Combining these two things together I’ve developed a special glanceable interface that helps read information quickly at a glance and put the interface into a very familiar object, a wall clock. That’s how the Glance Clock idea went live.

Photograph via Glance Clock

Jon:
I love the idea of bringing new value to an existing thing. It’s such a simple yet elegant solution. What is your background and education in that helps you take the idea of Glance Clock from idea to an actual product?

Anton:
I have more than 10 years experience in developing and manufacturing Hardware. During the last 6 years, I’ve been working in IoT space and have done several products that are currently on the market. I’m originally from Russia and the products are in that local market right now. I moved to Singapore 2 years ago to bring my ideas to a global market.

In terms of education, I hold 3 university degrees, the first is electronic engineering, the second is math-economics and the last one management and leadership. The first two I earned in Russia and the third in the Netherlands. Moreover, I’ve participated in many internships and educational programs all around the globe, the US, Germany, Netherlands, China, Singapore.

Jon:
Wow. I’m impressed. I love seeing when someone’s education and dedication come full circle and they start adding wonderful ideas and products to our world.

What would you say has been the most difficult task in the creation of Glance Clock?

Anton:
I think the most important part of the whole invention is the most difficult as well. It’s the display. The idea to help you get information quickly is followed by clear interface with clear elements. So the display that we’ve developed is unique and can show pretty much any data in a glanceable format. On the other hand, the clock face hides all technology inside and you can’t see anything until information appears on the screen.

Jon:
At any time during Glance Clock’s development did you think about giving up and walking away from the project? If so, what was frustrating you and how did you resolve it?

Anton:
Not really. Glance Clock is not my first venture. I’ve sold my previous company to focus on Glance Clock. During the past 6 years, together with my team, we’ve developed more than 20 different hardware products both successful and not. That means I know what failure is and know how to overcome it.

Photograph via Glance Clock

Jon:
That is beautiful to hear. Knowing that you will find some success and other times you won’t, but it sounds like you learn from it and move on. To get a little more personal, what are some of the greatest “failures” you’ve had in your life which have helped you gain this insight?

Anton:
OMG… so complicated… It’s really tough question for me. I’m a positive person and would rather follow small successes than failures. When I get a failure or just unacceptable result, I stop, think, analyze trying to get insights and then move forward. The most important thing that small successes like I said drive me to achieve bigger one. E.g., I got my first university diploma with honor in electronic engineering and then asked myself, “is it enough?” of course not, I knew a little and I went to the second University for another degree in math economics. So small success drove me to start something new.

Jon:
Where do you think you got this state of mind from in terms of not worrying about failures and really focusing on small successes? Was that something you got from watching family members or something you had to really work on?

Anton:
I think the key person who influenced to my life was my grandfather. He taught me work hard and achieve not good or great but perfect results, always. So I’m carrying this knowledge through my life and whenever I work on something I always find the way how to achieve the final goal. I remember the moment from my childhood when my grandfather and I dug sand. He had a big pickup with a huge trunk (I was small so I remembered that the car was huge). He gave me a shovel, and we started dig sand and through it to the car’s trunk. We had to fill the trunk completely and at first it looked impossible, but step by step we came to the result.

In that moment I realized that if I want to make, build, or create something big I have to do these small steps and don’t afraid to fail. The world is full of possibilities.

Jon:
Wow, what a great memory and story. It’s really quite the perfect analogy. I can tell you’ve taken that moment to heart and applied it to all your work, especially the Glance Clock. So, to wrap up, when are you expecting Glance Clocks to ship and how can people learn more about the product?

Anton:
We are launching Glance Clock crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo and we are expecting the shipping date to be February-March, 2017. You can go to our web site glanceclock.com and click the “Pre-order” button there to get you Glance Clock at a special discounted price.

Jon:
Great! Thanks for your time Anton and good luck with the launch of Glance Clock!

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More about Jon Filitti: First I became a counselor. Then a dad. I created some comic books and started a mental health private practice. Now I talk to interesting people on Mindsoak and Twitter.