For some people, a 6-hour plane ride feels like days, a long morning at the office feels like an entire day and a weekend vacationing on the beach only seems like an hour, hence the adage: time files when you’re having fun.
To understand what time means to different people, Cornell students Brian Schiffer and Sima Mitra created a device that tells time and measures a person’s perception of it.
The TicTocTrac is a wristband that can determine a person’s perception of time by tracking interval tasks. To start a perception measurement, a user taps the face of the watch to display a random period of time ranging from 5 to 55 minutes. The user selects the amount of time they want to measure and then continues about their day.
Once they believe the specified amount of time has lapsed, the user taps the face of the watch again. The watch displays the difference between the user’s estimate and the actual amount of time that lapsed and records the results to a memory card located inside the wristwatch that can then be transferred to a PC for analysis.
“The first guinea pig for the TicTocTrac was Schiffer himself, you can check out a chart of the results by going to his data page. A quick glance will show that indeed when he’s doing something he enjoys time does fly for him. When he’s pulling an all-nighter working however, his perception of the amount of time that has passed changes radically.”
Schiffer and Mitra built the device for $55.26 using a makerbot 3D printer, a small vibration motor, a motion and pressure sensor and a microSD card. They wanted to make it cheap and easy to build and have detailed instructions for how to make your own on the webste.
The researchers hope to use the project as a long-term clinical study on time perception.
Students create watch that measures your perception of time [Geek.com]
Photo via TicTocTrac.com