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Blub Keo is a USB powered desk clock which pairs a beautiful hand-formed glass tube display with precision machined aluminium.
Blub Keo is a USB powered desk clock which pairs a beautiful hand-formed glass tube display with precision machined aluminium.
Blub Keo is a USB powered desk clock which pairs a beautiful hand-formed glass tube display with precision machined aluminium.
90 backers pledged AU$ 38,786 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Blub Keo - A supersized USB powered Nixie Tube Clock project video thumbnail
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Blub Keo - A supersized USB powered Nixie Tube Clock

AU$ 38,786

90

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.

 

 

 

Hand-formed glass by Dalibor Farny
Hand-formed glass by Dalibor Farny

 

Assembling the digit stack
Assembling the digit stack

 

After gas filling
After gas filling

 

Blub Keo in bronze colour
Blub Keo in bronze colour

 

Close-up detail of the glass and stainless steel display
Close-up detail of the glass and stainless steel display

 

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.

 

Top view detail of Blub Keo
Top view detail of Blub Keo

 

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’.

 

Keo showing 7:35am in the 'Fade' transition mode
Keo showing 7:35am in the 'Fade' transition mode

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.

 

 

The remote makes setting up Blub Keo a breeze
The remote makes setting up Blub Keo a breeze

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.

Powered via Mini USB
Powered via Mini USB

The machined aluminium base is available in 3 different colours to suit your taste: Bronze, Aluminium and Black.

 

3 colours to choose from!
3 colours to choose from!

 

Bronze, Aluminium and Black
Bronze, Aluminium and Black

 

Close-up of the precision machined bases
Close-up of the precision machined bases

 

How big is Blub Keo?

Blub Keo is a little taller and wider than a regular soda can
Blub Keo is a little taller and wider than a regular soda can

 

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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!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 5 or more About $4

    Shoutout Reward

    As a thank you for backing my project, I'll send you a personal message of appreciation for your support, and you'll be kept in the loop on all the news and project updates as we go!

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    Pledge AU$ 399 or more About $304

    Blub Keo - Aluminium

    One Blub Keo in Aluminium with remote control and USB cable - everything you need to get one of these beautiful desk clocks running in your swanky office or impeccably styled apartment.
    (Approx $300 USD).

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    29 backers
    AU$
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 429 or more About $326

    Blub Keo - Black

    One Blub Keo in Black with remote control and USB cable - everything you need to get one of these beautiful desk clocks running on your chic hall credenza to show what exceptional taste you have in timekeeping accessories.
    (Approx $325 USD).

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    9 backers
    AU$
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 439 or more About $334

    Blub Keo - Space Grey

    One Blub Keo in Space Grey with remote control and USB cable - everything you need to get one of these beautiful desk clocks running in your man-cave or steampunk inspired kitchen.
    (Approx $334 USD).

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    18 backers
    AU$
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 449 or more About $342

    Blub Keo - Bronze

    One Blub Keo in Bronze with remote control and USB cable - everything you need to get one of these beautiful desk clocks running alongside your impressive vintage stereo to show how in-tune you are with the joys of time-honoured tech.
    (Approx $340 USD).

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    20 backers
    AU$
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 449 or more About $342

    Blub Keo - Brushed Black (Stretch Goal)

    One Blub Keo in Brushed Black with remote control and USB cable - everything you need to get one of these beautiful desk clocks running alongside that matching brushed black valve amplifier you have in your fancy private listening room. (Approx $340 USD).

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    9 backers
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Funding period

- (32 days)