In this day and age you normally only see sundials as a feature at stately homes or historic buildings; they just can’t compare to the accuracy of atomic clocks. However, a Toronto-based artist has created the coolest looking sundial, made from metal plates.

The Sun Cube is made up of 59 metal plates, which have been cut to match the angle of the sun at different times of the day. When the sun shines on it, the dial casts a dot-matrix number to mark each hour.

Sun Cube

The creator, Daniel Voshart shared his prototype on Reddit, after spending a month making it for his father’s birthday.

But before you rush to throw away your clocks, there are some limitations to the Sun Cube. For example, it only works the 15 days before and after his father’s birthday and only within 100 miles of a specific spot on Earth. Even in that specific area it will only work for 40 years due to the ever changing tilt of the Earth’s axis.

Digital Sundial Made From Metal Plates Tracks The Sun's Angle

“A friend wanted to [do] a kick-starter for this, for the GE inventor series. I wouldn’t let him I was like ‘no, it’s not interesting,'” says Voshart in Placeholder Magazine, “It’s an obscure toy that works in one part of the world. And it’s a clock. It’s inventing something that is actually worse than what exists on the market. A cereal box has more functionality.”

I think Voshart’s views of his Sun Cube are a little harsh. There is something quaint about the fact that it only works in a very small area of the Earth, only being used by one person who knows of the secret it contains.

If nothing else it is a reminder of times past and how the movement of the sun was how our ancestors knew what time it was.

[Images via Visualnews]