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This question already has an answer here:

The floppy disk is a good idiom for 'save', is there any good one for 'real time' or 'live' data?

I haven't found much on the interweb:

  • 'fast text', this is meant for IM
  • A LOT of clocks in different shapes and colors
  • some live camera icons, not a good match because out of the context

UPDATE: some clarifications are necessary. What I need is an idea for an icon, based on facts, studies, pre-existing art, conventions and best practices. So not from a graphic design point of view.

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marked as duplicate by JonW Apr 19 '13 at 15:02

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

Did you read the answer? The floppy disk is not a metaphor but an idiom. Try something with arrows, data going in and out. – Igor-G Apr 19 '13 at 14:41
By metaphor do you mean a visual metaphor? – Felix Weir Apr 19 '13 at 14:43
Yes, I did. And I meant to write idiom but I lacked brain-hand coordination. Fixing the question now, thanks. – Toni Toni Chopper Apr 19 '13 at 14:44
I think this is really just an icon request question. The save icon question worked well because it came at the issue from the other direction - "Is this icon still appropriate". It wasn't asking for alternatives but was about the specific icon itself. Your question is really just requesting a suggestion for an icon. Can you clarify what it is you want an answer to provide you with? – JonW Apr 19 '13 at 14:46
I don't need an icon but the idea for an icon. An idea that is easily associable with the concept of real time or live data. – Toni Toni Chopper Apr 19 '13 at 14:48

Some news sources I've seen use a "Record" icon (a red circle) which usually fades in and out, to signify real-time news coverage

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