Skyclock Saves Daylight

Ann Arbor entrepreneur creates iPhone app


Although we “gain” an hour when we fall back on Nov. 7, the end of daylight saving marks four months of elusive sunlight. But one local business has found a way to help us maximize sunlit time.

The Ann Arbor-based Skyclock Co. has developed the first analog clock that, in addition to telling time, shows hours of daylight, nighttime, and twilight. Skyclock’s intent is that people use this extra information to better plan their time.

John Rosevear, president and CEO of the company founded in 1986, began developing the idea for Skyclock because, as a former house painter, he says he “was always curious about the amount of time I could spend [painting outside].” He began collecting recorded times of sunrises and sunsets from the U.S. Naval Observatory and used that information to draw a revamped analog clock with his findings.

Between his extensive research and long-held interest in the passage of time, Rosevear developed the first Skyclock 25 years ago. Originally designed for computers, the clock became available this year as a free iPhone app that uses GPS technology and cell-towers to determine one’s location. Using two algorithms (one developed by a U-M astronomer specifically for Skyclock), it gives down-to-the-minute times for sunrise, sunset, and each period of twilight for every day of the year.

“The pragmatic applications are [that] this adds another hour to your daylight time,” Rosevear says. “We show you that you can spend more time out of doors, in relative safety, every day after the sun sets and before the sun rises.”

This is based on “usable twilight.” For those who aren’t horologe experts, there are three twilight stages based on the sun’s degrees below the horizon: civil, during which you can still see clearly; nautical, during which the first stars appear; and astronomical, during which it’s dark to the naked eye.

Those less interested in the specifics of this twilight trilogy can check the orange segment of the color-coded Skyclock to determine when they can take advantage of natural light before the sun rises and after it sets.

“It enables you to get a little more control over your life,” Rosevear says. “It’s no longer a guessing game.”

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Mustang Fever!

The iconic 'pony car' marks its 50th anniversary

Earth Tones: Recycling Latex Paint

The Southeastern Oakland County Resource Recover Authority (SOCRRA) has teamed with Battle Creek-based ePaint Recycling to help divert latex paint from the waste stream.

Bigger Than Ever

Former 'underground party' now fills the Masonic Temple.

Is it Time for a New Nickname for 'The Wolverine State'?

Despite our moniker and U-M’s mascot, ‘The Wolverine State’ seems to be weasel words

Wall to Wall Art

Park West Gallery and Dearborn's The Henry team up to decorate a 'boutique' hotel
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. An Animated Life
    As Rob Paulsen prepares to publish his memoir, the Hollywood veteran and voice behind some of the...
  2. An Hour With ... Teddy Dorsette III
    President, Detroit Black Deaf Advocates
  3. State of the Arts
  4. A New Noodle Shop on the Block
    Midtown Detroit welcomes Urban Ramen
  5. Gold Standard
    Tucked into an industrial strip in Ann Arbor, a new restaurant offers French fare
  6. In Tune
    Influenced by its storied past, Willis Show Bar sets the tone for a nostalgic sound
  7. Drink Beer, Do Good
    Local breweries and pubs jump on the charity bandwagon
  8. Recipe: Roast Boneless Pork Loin With Tart Cherry Chutney
    Executive chef at Ford’s Garage, Darin Thompson’s boneless pork loin marvel
  9. Business Class
    Trim suits, creative layers, and crisp white shirts - Fall's wardrobe essentials are fitting for...
  10. Meet the Makers: Sydney James
    For muralist Sydney James, the city of Detroit is her canvas. Matters of the country are her muse