Story by Flyte Review
By Kareem Hamwi on 23 May,2019
We are in the digital age – no arguments, no denying it, nothing – I don’t think anyone would disagree with me on that. We use our phones to check the time more than we do the watches on our wrist. You may even be browsing OFOUR more often than usual, but you won’t hear any complaints there! We’re conditioned to look at screens all day and forget the beauty art can have. However, if you pair it with something practical and make that art FUNCTIONAL, you create a bigger incentive for people to look at it.
And I think that’s what Swedish company Flyte did with their new wall clock – Story. This thing is an absolute work of beauty. With its minimalistic design and magic-like functions, the Story truly is a must-have. Flyte is known for its signature magnetic levitating technology – all of their products utilize magnetic levitation and also incorporate light in one way or another; hence their name: Flight + Light + the Swedish word for float (Flyta) = Flyte. With the accompanying mobile app, you can control so many aspects of the Story.
Let’s dive into the detail a bit, starting with the wooden face. The one we have is in walnut, but you can get it in oak as well. The simplistic design is very unassuming; however, what’s hidden behind the wood is the source of the intelligence and uniqueness that makes this clock remarkable. And in case you can’t read the analog time, or have it set to track something else (read below), there’s an LED matrix that projects the time in digital format.
The material feels durable and sound, so there’s no worry about damaging it unless you drop it… obviously. It’s not very thick though, so there’s a little sound of emptiness if you tap on it, but it still won’t crack or break open if the sphere gets pulled towards it.
The backlight allows for an insane number of customizations. If you’re not feeling the white light, you can select any of 4 billion different color hues to suit your preference or mood. Using the mobile app, you go through a color wheel to choose your favorite color and have that illuminate the backdrop of your Story. The light can also be set to represent real-time meteorological data, such as the current moon phase. You can even set the light to act as the second hand where it will shine the current time as if it were the second hand on a regular clock.
The magnetic sphere (or the Storyteller) can represent anything you want. It can orbit per second, minute, hour, month, YEAR, work as a countdown timer, or whatever you choose it to be. It moves per your schedule however you want it to.
Essentially, there are three modes you can set the Storyteller to. The first is the Journey mode: here you can set your own personal schedule to fit any occasion. Say your significant other is pregnant; you can set the Storyteller to orbit on a 9 month schedule as a countdown to the big day. Perhaps you’re excited for the new season of your favorite show; you can set it to match the release date! Customize it however you want.
The second mode you can choose is your average Clock mode. You can set the sphere to represent the second, minute, or hour just like any other clock, and it’ll move accordingly. The third mode is the Timer mode. In this mode, you can set it to countdown short-term activities – a 1 hour meeting, a 1 minute plank exercise, or 45 minutes of oven time for your roast.
Just don’t bring anything metallic too close to the sphere… it WILL attract it. Yanked my earphones out of my ear when I got within range.
Don’t have much wall space? That’s alright! Story comes with a basic stand you can place it on, so it can sit comfortably on your desk; or if you’d rather, you can have it lay flat on its back, but personally, I don’t see the aesthetic value of that. In my opinion, I think it looks best on the wall. It also looks most gravity-defying on the wall!
At only around 1.5kgs (without the sphere and cords), the clock is super lightweight. It also feels authentic. There’s no sense of plastic or unsound material; this feels as durable as it looks. It is also virtually soundless. There are no ticks as this isn’t your conventional clock, and you REALLY have to get close to hear even the faintest of sounds.
You can be assured the sphere will not dislodge and fall. If there’s a power outage, or someone pulls the cable out by mistake, the ball will stick to the clock.
In order to make their products within standard safety regulations, Flyte made sure the Story’s magnet field is well within the safety limit for people with pacemakers. At a distance of 23 cm / 9inches, the magnetic field is rated at 3 milligauss or .003 gauss. This is well below the cited sources of 10 gauss that could prevent a pace-maker from functioning properly.
The Story and app are also connected to the cloud, so you can expect a lot of cool new features to come out in the future.
The only slightly frustrating aspect of the Story is actually getting the Storyteller to levitate! It’s a tricky setup. You have to place it in exactly the right spot, or else it’ll fly towards the attractive magnet inside the clock and plop itself flat on the surface. Pulling it off isn’t hard, but getting it to float is tricky. Luckily Flyte realized this and provided customers with a tool that would, in theory, help this process – a simple tube. Just place the tube over the light (the indicator where the Storyteller needs to be placed to connect) and drop it. It won’t hit the surface, so don’t worry about that. Then, carefully and gently lift the tube off and try not to knock into the sphere while doing so – it’s like you’re playing a game of Operation. If all goes well, the sphere should be floating. It’ll then do one full orbit to calibrate, then it’s all yours.
I think this is a must-have for any Flyte fan or someone who appreciates the combination of art and technology. It’s a beautiful piece with true functionality, and will always draw the right kind of attention.