Inventor Patents New Way to Tell Time: Colorful Display Ideal for Cell Phones, Wearable Audio Players, and Mobile Electronic Devices

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A newly patented time-telling system -- called "TWELV" -- eliminates the use of numerals, clock hands and traditional clockfaces. Instead, each individual hour of the day is represented solely by one of twelve unique colors. The display is simultaneously more attractive and smaller in footprint than conventional time formats.

Inventerprise(R) LLC announced today the granting of a United States patent on a new way to tell time. The newly patented system breaks from centuries-old tradition, dispensing altogether with the use of any hour hand or hour digit. Instead, each individual hour of the day is represented solely by one of twelve unique colors.

As a result, the new time format -- called “TWELV” -- requires much less display monitor space than conventional formats. This smaller footprint makes TWELV ideal for use on mobile phones, portable consumer electronics, head-mounted displays, wrist-watches, and other wearable computing and communications devices.

"The prototype is stunningly simple and elegant," a company representative commented. "Colors are not only more pleasing visually, but they can also be correctly recognized from much greater distances than can individual numerals or clock hands."

In some TWELV embodiments, the minute hand or digit is also eliminated. Instead, a moon serves as the minute indicator, waxing from a slender crescent at the beginning of an hour to a full orb at the end. This embodiment also allows virtually any other monochromatic image -- such as a company logo, a silhouette, or a musical note -- to serve as the minute indicator.

Inventerprise arranged for designer Christopher Tjalsma to create the first prototype of the moon-based embodiment of TWELV. This prototype is now available for viewing via the web site:

"The sun and moon are probably the earliest time indicators used by the human race," the representative continued. "Christopher's design somehow taps into humanity at that very deep level. It feels a thousand generations old."

The patent announcement comes on the heels of the company’s headline-making roll-out of (, a prototype search engine that uses no Web crawlers and no document analysis software, instead relying solely upon relevancy rankings performed by living human beings.

Watches and clocks based on the TWELV(TM) system, including the Tjalsma Intuitime(TM) design and the hybrid TIKR(TM) design -- which provides minute but no hour digits -- are expected to be made available commercially in two to four years. All TWELV displays also include an override feature, allowing users to display time in standard 4-digit format if needed.

View the latest paradigm in horology at

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Shel Harrison
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