Keeping time with the Tick Talk Word Clock

This clocks shows the time in written words instead of numbers. 

As its name would imply, a word clock refers to a clock that tells the time using words rather than numbers. When it comes to these innovative, highly-popular timepieces, there have been numerous innovations ranging from DIY devices to consumer-friendly gadgets like Biegert & Funk’s QLOCKTWO lineup. With what initially began as a Christmas present for his girlfriend that would go on to become a viral sensation on Reddit, Maker James Robb has launched a Kickstarter campaign for his aptly dubbed Tick Talk Word Clock


“My initial inspiration was the do-it-yourself clock community online, and the amazing timepieces I had seen people produce over the years… plus wooden stuff is all the trend right now, right? I had a number of people contact me asking to purchase one because they loved it so much, so here we are,” Robb explains.

Based on an ATmega328P MCU, the Tick Talk Word Clock uses a real-time clock module and a grid of LEDs to reveal the time in written words as it would be spoken. The electronics are all housed in a sleek wooden frame that will make the device a welcomed accessory inside any home, office or dorm room.

The face of the clock, which is comprised of a laser-cut wood panel, updates every five minutes and has a precision of five minutes. This means that the clock will read “it is twenty five minutes past three” between the times of 3:25 and 3:29. At 3:30, the clock will update it’s face accordingly.

“While the original could only turn whole words on and off at a time, and only in the color white, the version you will get will be so much cooler,” Robb adds.


Unlike the prototype, the soon-to-be available version you will pack a number of new features, including color-changing abilities to coordinate with different holidays and special occasions. Beyond that, the Tick Talk Word Clock will offer smoother transitions, programming buttons (for setting the time) on its backside, a slimmed down body, and the ability to keep time even when unplugged.

Sound like something you’d like to have? Then it’s time to head over to its official Kickstarter page, where the Maker is currently seeking $29,768. Shipment is expected to begin in September 2015.

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