Product spotlight: 'Boutime by Ian Munro

Ian Munro thought it was about time that clocks had a face lift. His solution came in the form of the 'Boutime, a beautiful clock with an innovative display.

What would it look like if one removed the hands from a clock and replaced them with LEDs? It was this question, together with a desire for a bit of creative experimentation, that led Cape Town-based industrial designer Ian Munro to create the 'Boutime clock. 

‘Boutime takes its name from “about time”, suggesting that perhaps it is about time that the traditional clock was reimagined. 

Munro wanted a clock, but also so much more than a clock. He started by removing the hands and replacing it with LED lights. “I wanted to really concentrate on the display,” he says. The next step involved working with an electronics engineer on the circuit board.

In ensuring that the aesthetics of the ‘Boutime met his own design standards, Munro made sure to pay special attention to the housing of the clock. In an analogue-type display without hands, the number of light points indicate the minutes that circle past the hour mark.

‘Boutime clocks are available in various materials and colour combinations ranging from oak and Corian Anthracite frames to lime green acrylic faces.

Together with its sleek functionality and aesthetics, the ‘Boutime also has an interactive element. “It’s more of a companion than a clock,” Munro explains. The clock responds to a simple tap. “You just have to pat the clock for it to do something.” In responding to a tap or a gentle touch, the ‘Boutime dims, or brightens. It also works as a night light.

Arguably, the best part comes with the alarm function. Twenty minutes before your alarm is due to wake you, a soft light that gradually grows brighter, comes on, allowing for a more natural to wake up.

‘Boutime was launched at Design Indaba Expo 2013 to a “totally phenomenal response”, Munro says.

Currently Murno is looking into ways to streamline the production of ‘Boutime, in order to produce higher volumes in a variety of materials.