2016 / NEW YORK



ETKI is a quantified-self smart watch concept that reminds you of the moments that actually matter. ETKI encourages you to spend your time more thoughtfully as opposed to distracting you - which is what smartwatches and smartphones do today.

We live in an attention economy. Today, products and websites win by getting our time. We're left constantly distracted. In an attention economy we are having less meaningful and more monotonous experiences. We have that feeling of time passing faster. Time is tied to memory. The more meaningful memorable experiences we have, the more time slows down. By challenging your memory, ETKI brings your attention to the remarkable daily moments so that you can prioritize them for a more meaningful and satisfying life.

Time is tied to memory. The more memorable meaningful experiences we have, the more time slows down.

We have sense of time, past, present, and future since we have memory. The more our brain processes new memories, the more time slows down. The amount of the input our brain takes from outside world per time shapes our perceptions of time. If we seek the ways to prioritize the meaningful memorable experiences, we can have a sense of that time is passing slowly, and thus have a better quality of time.


In life, quality of time is what matters.


We are tracking the calories we burn, the steps we walk, and the amount of time we sleep. How can we also track the quality of time that we spend?


ETKI is a quantified-self smart watch concept that reminds you of the moments that actually matter.

A Video Story of the Experience


ETKI challenges your memory to remember  the small, remarkable, daily experiences that otherwise fade from memory quickly.


ETKI doesn't capture any audio, video, or images. It only records the time and location of the event that occurred in order to provoke you to expend effort to recall your memories. It exercises your memory, thus strengthening it. With fewer clues, we understand what kind of events are the most important to us and take place in our memories so we can prioritize them.



By recalling your memories, ETKI makes you think about the quality of time spent in your daily life. It leads you to try to spend your next day more thoughtfully. ETKI pairs with an app that aggregates user data and allows you to compare your days to one another.

The physicality of the object is a reminder for you to question the quality of your time. And it is readily accessible, so it doesn't take you from the moment. It is not an app, because reaching out to your phone would change the moment.

The hope is that the gesture of capturing moment with ETKI has potential to be conditioned. Because we have a special relationship with our wrists especially when we express our memories. We already use our arms, wrists to celebrate remarkable moments by doing power poses.


When the gesture of ETKI becomes conditioned, the behaviour of capturing moments dissolve in the flow of the moment instead of distracting from it.

The body of the watch is concave; the space between your hand and object is for your memories.  It is the vessel of your memory.


The concave shape of the watch also matches the curve of your finger. The interaction with the watch was designed to be intuitive and pleasurable.

The design of the object could be executed in a more feasible and easy to produce way. However the objective of this thesis didn't include market and business considerations. At least, they weren't the priority. I was more interested to think critically about the space and the relationship with the objects and the humans. First experience comes in, then the technology helps for the execution. Not vice versa.

The watch strap is customized and only has one snap that fits perfectly to your wrist to emphasize that it is a personal object.

The Process


The design process included many form and function iterations.


Developing UI of the screen was particularly challenging, especially differentiating AM and PM cycles. I wanted to show 24 hours in one screen and keep it simple and clean. Inner circles represent AM. Outer circles represent PM.

I tried multiple versions but ended up with the one located in the middle because of the simplicity of the form. While inside of the circle represent AM, the outside represent PM.

For example, the visual language of this version didn't communicate with the tone of the product and it was rejected.

Some alternative design studies for the snap of the watch before the final decision


Product Designer



New York / USA

All works © Adem Önalan 2015

Please do not reproduce without the expressed written consent of Adem Önalan.

This website is designed and created by Adem Önalan.

Core77 Design Awards, 2016

Student Notable, Furniture & Lighting (Project: Ounce)


Core77 Design Awards, 2015

Student Notable, Interaction Design (Project: Ditto)


Core77 Design Awards, 2015

Student Notable, Social Impact (Project: Spinute)


Republic of Turkey Ministry of Economy, 2014

Full Scholarship Recepient for Graduate School


IMMIB Industrial Design Contest 2014, Turkey

Professional-First Prize


TUBITAK Entrepreneurship and Innovation Award, Turkey

First Prize

TUBITAK : The Scientific and Technological Research

Council of Turkey


Asia Awards: The Student of Asia 2013, Japan



Red dot award: concept 2013, Singapore



International Design Excellence Awards  2013, USA



A' Design Award Winner 2013, Italy



IMMIB Industrial Design Contest 2013, Turkey

Student-First Prize


iF Concept Design Award 2012, Germany