COSMIC WATCH: Time and Space - Interview with the developer of a fantastic app

Did you have any prior development or coding experience?

I learned to code for flash and director a long time ago. I focus on the design and concept of the app while my friend Reto Spoerri concentrates on the code. He is a teacher of interaction design in the art school of Zurich.

What was the most challenging aspect of developing mobile app?

To show complicated subjects like astronomy and time measurement in a way that is intuitive and exciting to explore for the user. Our main goal is to reconnect the user with the sky, the universe, and the Earth – all in a beautiful experience.

Eduardo Santana grew up in Gran Canaria, studied Visual Arts in Zürich, specialized in 3D, animation, and projections. He worked in video production, theatre, and light installations and teaching about the video in the Art School of Basel. He is a passionate amateur astronomer and sky gazer.

Name a few of your favorite apps and reason you love them.

I love Stellarium: it’s one of the most complete sky guides out there. I also like the work the guys from Solar System Scope are doing, they produced one of the best astronomy apps out there. For digital art, I enjoy using Procreate and for graphic design, I find Affinity Designer extremely useful. But my favorite app of all time is the Cosmic Watch!

How long have you been working on this app?

We came up with the idea back in 2011 and it took us almost four years to develop the first release.

What need of the user did you have in mind when developing this app?

We started redesigning the clock. It was time for a digital clock to reflect the astronomical background of time measurement, that’s why the Cosmic Watch is the first astronomical clock of the digital age! While developing the app, we realized the great potential it has as an educational tool to teach about the solar system, sky gazing and the cycles of the Earth and the Moon. When you watch the planet Earth floating in space surrounded by stars and other planets, something magical happens. We call the Cosmic Watch a consciousness-raising tool ☺

In what way do you think your app is better than similar apps on the market? Please describe in detail what innovation you think you bring and what you are proud of in your app.

The special thing about the Cosmic Watch is that you can switch between three points of view: Earth, Sky and Solar System View. Seeing the same from different perspectives allows the user to better understand our cosmic surroundings: Sun, Moon, planets, stars and the Milky Way. Speeding up time allows us to grasp the apparent motions we observe from the surface of the Earth, like the daily path of the Sun. Another very special thing is the ability to show the celestial sphere, a concept used for the ancient art to orientate yourself using the sky, crucial for celestial navigation and sky gazers. The Solar System can be switched between geocentric and heliocentric and the Cosmic Watch is able to send you notifications such as moon phases, sunset and eclipses.

What are your future plans and expected features of the coming new versions of this app?

We want to develop the educational aspect of the app, adding more information to explore and discover. We also would love to go deeper in space and add those galaxies, nebulas and star clusters to augment even more the consciousness about how incredible and beautiful the universe is.

Assuming new users of your app are reading this page. What do you want to ask them to do (contact you about X, Share the app, etc.)?

Check the project on, like us on Facebook to keep informed about astronomical events and most importantly, download the Cosmic Watch and spread the word about it! We strongly depend on those downloads to keep developing. We have many beautiful ideas we love to add to this great app.

COSMIC WATCH: Time and Space

About App: The Cosmic Watch is a 3D planetarium, an AR sky guide and a clock with stunning graphics and visual effects.
Take an astronaut's flight over planet earth or explore the entire solar system. Point your phone or tablet towards the sky and experience it in augmented reality!! Get to know the constellations, stars, and planets in your sky right now! Travel to the past, present, and future and see how time is related to the movements of the solar system.
This powerful educational tool renders stunning graphics of the earth and sky in real-time. It's a playful introduction to Astronomy.
The Cosmic Watch combines basic principles of astronomy with time measurement to deliver a journey through space and time while providing real-time visualizations of your position in the cosmos. The Cosmic Watch 2.0 calculates important astronomical events so you never miss the next cosmic phenomena.
The Cosmic Watch is for people of all ages... for everyone who loves the planet earth and wants to unlock the secrets of the celestial vault. It's a must-have for nature lovers and outdoor adventures, amateur astronomers and advanced stargazers, professional astronomers, clock fans, science fiction geeks.
• A unique app containing a 3D celestial sphere for an overview of the whole sky
• Planetarium with star maps, constellations, and astronomical events calculator
• Augmented reality for experiencing the sky
• 3D interactive astronomical clock and world clock
• Switch between sky, earth, and solar system view
• Astronomy notifications
• Geocentric and Heliocentric views of the solar system
• Comprehensive representation of planet retrogrades
• Digital compass
• Many informative layers

Categories: Education

Date: November 18, 2019

Developer: Eduardo Santana

About developer: Eduardo Santana grew up in Gran Canaria, studied Visual Arts in Zürich, spec ... Read more



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