Not sure why, but hourglasses have always made us nervous. Maybe it's seeing the way they were always used to show a finite amount of time until a (usually bad) conclusion. It makes the simple visual of sand puring through a small hole an incredibly suspenseful experience. But here's a pretty rad concept for an hourglass who's 'ticking' time is not pouring down in sand, but instead virtually pouring down a mass of glowing LED light. It sure makes that ominous end a whole lot more pleasant to watch.
The Hourglass Lantern by Young Bok Kim works like traditional hourglasses but turns the thousand year old 'tech' upside down—literally—by using LEDs with varying levels of brightness instead of sand.
You can even adjust how long it takes for the light to flow from top to bottom by twisting the two halves like a dial. As time passes, the brightness decreases on top as it increases on bottom, giving off the illusion that lights is pouring down through the 'glass' as time moves forward.
[ Via Yanko Design ]