Back in 2009, I saw a friend in Melbourne, Australia that was wearing a watch that has neither numbers nor needle. It was a Japanese watch with a certain mechanical that makes knowing the time more complex than just flipping your wrist or swiping your mobile phone screen.
Recently while visiting Hotel de Ville de Paris for the Design & Artisanat d’Art exhibition, I saw another accessory of the same spirit; NUBI – digital design studio that offers tactile pendant made out of organic LED (OLED) screen with changeable illustration. The static or animated illustrations, some of which were designed by artist like Diana Lange, look as if they are moving paintings within the gold, silver and black frame of the pendant. The small size OLED screen gives the high pixels images realistic and almost 3D impression. The animation of Koi fish by Diana, along with the size and the chain of the pendant may remind some of Tamagotchi, the global phenomenon of Japanese handheld digital pet toy that have been sold for more that 76 millions worldwide. But NUBI pendant is not a toy, it is an “art accessory” with series of limited editions collaboration with artists like Julio Le Parc and Miguel Chevalier.
There is a small light sensor on the NUBI pendant that automatically controls the luminosity according to the brightness of the surrounding environment. According to Aude Morandat, this is to give the natural luminosity to the pendant so that people would not immediately realised there is a technology behind the pendant. Aude Morandat founded NUBI studio in 2010 with the aim to explore the digital revolution through its emotional and artistic aspects more than the function.
NUBI pendant comes with its own software that allows its wearer to import their own images and animations. With battery that lasts up to 25 hours, this could be the new accessory for the younger generations that swing their activities from daylight to the wee hours of the next morning!
NUBI is a digital craftsmanship concept that involves collaboration with artists, engineers and designers in France. While Parisian’s craftsmen are responsible for the components of the pendant, the technology development and the assembly process are made in Grenoble. This 100% French made object is selling at the price of €550.00.
Mubaraq Haniff is the eyes and ears of A Life Curated in Paris. He never changes the time zone of his watch from his native homeland and used to owned at least three Tamagotchis.