Three MFA students at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, Min Seung Song, Nikki Sylianteng, and Shanshan Gao, have designed a clever object that merges analog and digital worlds:
The Timestamp is unassuming on the surface — an analog clock stamp that’s meant to be used to physically and very consciously mark the start and end times of each task, giving you a constant source of accomplishment throughout the day. But the power is in what’s invisible to the eye — when used to start a task, it shuts down all your modern sources of distraction: social networks, email, instant messaging, mobile phones, and even your computer, allowing you to finally work in much-needed peace.
At the end of the task, the stamp is used to lift the freeze and bring everything back to normal. The stamp emits a red glow when busy and green when not to alert humans in the physical world of your current status.
In the photo above, the Timestamp doesn’t appear to be glowing either red or green. [Update 26 September 2013: I received a new image where the Timestamp is glowing.] You can see where the user has stamped the start of a task written in an analog to-do list, and the user seems to be editing on one of those focused writing apps like WriteRoom.