Depending on your level of hacking expertise, when you look at a binary sequence of ones and zeros, at some point you’ll need to do a little bit of math in order to convert those digits into the decimal numbers that “normal” people use. 0000 (0) through 1001 (9) shouldn’t be too hard with a little practice though, meaning reading a binary clock should be very attainable for most of us, and using one would be a great way to practice your skills.
In order to implement this unique device, while keeping it normal enough to blend in with everyday decor, John Wittington made the Wooden Bits – Wall Binary Clock, seen in the video below. The outside is made with laser-cut wood, with a kerf-cutting technique to snake the horizontal wood around the edges for a very interesting look. Time display is accomplished with a custom Arduino-compatible board with a real-time clock module, and lighting is via WS2812 programmable RGB LEDs.
The video explains and shows off the build nicely. Of especial note if you’re only vaguely familiar with this tech, is that he gives a nice outline of how this type of clock works starting at around 1:25. As he explains, the digits are actually four binary representations of the decimal hour and minute digits. So this type of clock could be classified as a sort of binary-decimal hybrid. On the other hand, few people can count to 59 in binary at a glance, so this representation is much more user-friendly than a fully binary device!