Mac’s petit inventions: Value Telling Shapes

Mac’s Petit Inventions

Mac Funamizu shares with us his design ideas. He looks at everyday things and envisions their future.

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I’m probably not the only one who likes the feedback from tangible shapes over digital ones, they give me a lot of valuable feedback. Today, I’d like to introduce two concepts that represent useful values with their own shapes.

Pie Chart Coins

I don’t like to own credit cards. The thickness of a wallet and the number of bills and coins in it can tell me how much I own, while the thickness of a credit card won’t. I’m a compulsive shopper and I know what will happen if I have a credit card with me… So it’s really important for me to be able to know my current financial status.

I happened to take a trip to Singapore the other day. As is often the case with me when going to a country I’ve never visited, it takes some time to get used to the coins used there. But I have a possible solution: the pie chart.

“We all know about the pie chart. The circle represents the whole, and the size of wedge represents a percentage of that whole. Together, those represented values, add up to 100 percent. Use this only if you’re comparing a few value..” – FlowingData

In my concept, the percentage of the value of the coin is represented as a pie-chart shape (e.g. 25% of 1 dollar is 25 cents). There are at least two great benefits I can think of. One is for travelers and other people who are not accustomed to the currency. They can easily get used to the value of them. The second is for kids. They can learn both percentage and currency at the same time.

Hungry USB Memory Stick

I like to think of funny USB memory sticks and have designed many. This is one of them: a USB memory stick that looks hungry when there’s no data in it. When the memory is full, it also looks full with the inflated belly. Thinking of the proximity of the usb ports, the size of the figure must be reconsidered, but I think it’s able to tell the necessary value with its shape in a funny way.

Mac Funamizu

Mac is an in-house web/graphic designer working in Tokyo, Japan. In his free time he invents new products and interactions.

4 comments on this article

  1. Daniel on

    Paying at vendor machines might be a problem to be solved for these kind of coins.

  2. I think it’s an awesome exploration! Very innovative! I think it would look very cool for a country to redo the coin system in this way (minus maybe the sharp edges).

  3. Thomas on

    Shaped coins. LOL! In theory it sounds good. But …

    Coins were made round for a reason (stackable, readable, practical). Usability reasons. And even lower production costs.

    Changing that would be one of those improvements that is not an improvement. Every single person in the country with those coins would hate them, and the so-called “advantages” would collect dust in some design thesis.