Oct 26, 2016 | By Tess

For those whose work requires it, time tracking can be a pain: jotting down minutes and hours in a day can be exhausting, and forgetting to do it can be incredibly frustrating. Even time tracking apps, while making the process a bit more automated, are still dependent on your input, essentially making it another task you have to account for. Fortunately, a team of developers have created a remarkably simple solution that combines innovative object design and IoT: the ZEI.

The ZEI, which resembles a large 8-sided die, is essentially a polygon device that can keep track of various timed activities throughout the course of the day, depending on which side of the device is facing upwards. Equipped with a WiFi connection to your computer and connection to an accompanying app, the ZEI allows users to assign a side of the device to a particular task, which can be customized on a regular basis. By simply changing the side of the device that faces upwards, users can keep track of how much time they are spending on certain tasks and activities without putting much effort in themselves.

If the ZEI device sounds like a dream to you, you can get your hands on one by participating in the innovative time tracking device’s current Kickstarter campaign. The crowdfunding campaign, which launched on September 20th, reached its initial goal €75,000 within a day of launching, and has skyrocketed to more than €300,000 in funding. With only few hours left of the Kickstarter, it is your last chance to get in on the initial batch of ZEIs.

Through the Kickstarter, the ZEI can be bought for a pledge of €89 (reportedly 30% cheaper than it’s retail price when it hits the market). What has us most excited about the time tracking device is that for €39 (about $42.50) you can receive a DIY kit for the ZEI which includes the hardware and tools for the electronics, as well as the 3D printing files for the housing. This means that if you have a 3D printer handy, you can not only get your device for half the cost, but can customize what color and even what shape you want it to be.

In terms of user interface, the ZEI is accompanied by an app (compatible with macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android), which logs the times per activity, and allows users to easily control or edit the recorded times if, say, you forgot to turn the device off at the end of a long work day. A Pro version of the app also offers users a weekly productivity report based on their time log, and will be brimming with new features as the product is further developed.

To keep track of which side is which on the ZEI, the startup suggests that users get creative, putting post-its, stickers, or even writing on the face of the device with washable marker. So, not only is the object an easy-to-use and quick time tracking device, but it could also be a visually fun object to have sitting on your desk.

Clearly a lot of time and effort has gone into designing and making the ZEI, which was inspired by the developers’ own frustration with time tracking tools. Now, after many 3D printed prototypes and lots of feedback, the hard work seems to have paid off as the Kickstarter campaign has far surpassed its funding goal. All backers can expect to receive their rewards starting March 2017.

For someone who almost constantly has the Stopwatch app running, the ZEI seems mighty appealing. Maybe I’ll 3D print my very own!

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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