Time tracking is one of those daily tediums that plagues many jobs. It’s important to know how much time you’re spending on individual projects, but actually logging that data takes time itself, and can be a distraction from the flow of work. Software solutions don’t actually solve those problems, but a forthcoming gadget from Austrian startup Timeular just might.

Zei in action

Zei is an octahedral prism — the shape tabletop gamers will recognize as a D8, but about the size of a baseball. Each facet can be set to represent a different task or project (and decorated with stickers or an erasable marker), and the time spent on that work is counted as long as that side faces up. Switching tasks only requires flipping Zei to a new position. Or, if you’re having trouble deciding what to work on, you can always “roll for productivity”.

The design of Zei isn’t final, but Timeular is planning for it to send data over Bluetooth Low Energy and run on a coin-cell battery. Since its functionality depends on the device knowing which way is up, we can assume it will also include an accelerometer or nine-axis motion sensor.

Zei Labels

On the software side, Timeular is creating its own mobile app but also working with existing apps so that Zei users will have lots of choices in how to access the device’s data and integrate it with their current time-tracking and project-management flows. Toggl, Harvest, Timeneye and Wunderlist are already on board, and Timeular hopes to establish around 80 such partnerships after it brings Zei to market.

The co-founders say they have already turned down several funding offers, partly out of a desire to stick to their vision for Zei. Having bootstrapped the company so far, they’re planning a crowdfunding campaign that should launch in the next few months. Check out the teaser video below.

Related: Cube, Nuimo, bttn

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