Maths: the bane of every student’s existence. But you’ve got to learn it, do it and do it as well as you can. If your parents or teachers were anything like mine, you probably found those mental maths problems to be the worst. Well, there’s an unusual new product you’ve got to hear about. The Albert Clock is a digital wall clock that won’t tell you the time – unless you can solve a mathematical equation. Really. Can it make maths fun again?

The brainchild of Paris-based Axel Schindlbeck and Fred Mauclere, the concept behind the Albert Clock is to transform boredom (including in the classroom) into time spent improving mental maths skills. So, rather than just show you the time, you must (correctly) solve simple maths equations to reveal the time. For instance, instead of showing 10.45 AM, the clock will show 8+2 hours and 32+13 minutes.

The clock can be set to six different levels of difficulty. In standard mode, the queries change every minute. If you’re feeling up to a challenge, you can set the clock to its fastest mode where queries change every 10 seconds. Yikes.

There’s only one thing the clock is missing and that’s an alarm button. As the designers of the Albert Clock clarify, it is intended to be used for a single purpose – to calculate the time. Literally.

While the clock retails for about $300, there is also a free app available to download for iOS and Android. So, each glance at your phone will present you with a new mathematical challenge.