About this project
Blub Keo is a USB powered nixie tube clock which displays the time using sequential digits which are illuminated through ionized neon gas. A blend of solid machined aluminium, stainless steel, hand formed glass and neon, Keo is a delicate fusion of art, design and engineering. With a warm orange glow reminiscent of a vintage amplifier valve, Blub Keo's display features a hand formed glass 'bulb' in which a series of very fine stainless steel numerals are arranged in a stack and illuminated one after the other to show the time. The display produces no heat, no noise, uses very little energy and celebrates what is arguably the most beautiful way of displaying numbers.
Blub Keo's 'nixie' display is the largest of its kind currently ready for production, and is meticulously hand assembled, gas filled and tested to ensure the highest quality and function. In fact, the display has been engineered and assembled with such care and precision that we will guarantee its function for 10 years! However, in the very unfortunate event your Keo is dropped onto concrete from a great height, your dog kicks it off the shelf or you smash it off your nightstand with your flailing arms in a desperate attempt to get up for work on a Monday morning, don't worry! It is easy to plug in a replacement display and takes only a few minutes.
How does Keo show the time?
Reading the time with a one digit display might seem unnatural, but Keo makes it a very simple and intuitive process. For example, 7:35am displays sequentially as ‘0… 7… 3… 5’.
Clever and compact electronics drive the display, providing all the features you would expect from a quality desk clock including the time in 12hr/24hr format, date, temperature, alarm, auto sleep/wake functions, selectable backlighting colour and brightness, display modes, and also a handy remote control for easy setup.
To make it even easier, Blub Keo is powered via mini USB which means you can power it from your computer, laptop, phone charger or pretty much anything with a USB port (no chunky wall adapters needed!). Keo will hold its time for up to 6 weeks without power too.
The machined aluminium base is available in 3 different colours to suit your taste: Bronze, Aluminium and Black.
How big is Blub Keo?
If your pledge is intended to be a gift for someone and delivery won't be in time for the special day, don't worry! We can send you a personalised certificate to give to them in the meantime so they can see what they will be receiving when the delivery date rolls around. Plus it will let them know they'll be one of the first people to get their hands on a Keo, assembled especially for them!
The video below, by tube maker Dalibor Farný, details the extensive glass forming processes and intricate hand assembly techniques that go into every Keo tube clock display. The display is a work of art, perfected through countless hours of perseverance and exceptional workmanship.
Where is the project currently at?
After taking on board all the feedback from my last two Kickstarter projects, the goal with Blub Keo was to make a desk clock which is easier to program, easier to read, has improved functionality and features a much bigger display. After many prototypes and extensive user testing, we think we’ve succeeded. Below is a heavily summarised version of our timeline showing the journey up until now. The design is complete, drawings are finalised, materials are ready, firmware is programmed, the glassblowing lathe is freshly oiled and suppliers are all ready to go.
Why does this project need your help?
Your pledge will help to make a production run of all the components that make up the Blub Keo and fund the manufacture of the incredibly intricate glass displays. The funds will also help with certification, testing and protective packaging so your Keo arrives safe and sound. I hope you enjoyed looking through this project and thanks for your support. Please spread the word!
Risks and challenges
I've created a couple of Kickstarter projects before which have been great learning experiences, teaching me a lot about running a project and delivering rewards. I have learned to manage the risks and challenges throughout the product development stages, and have already developed good relationships with suppliers and manufacturers to support the fulfilment of this project. I'm transparent and will provide regular updates and photos along the way. All questions and comments are welcome!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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