Smartphones are replacing the need for many other devices, making some of them surplus to requirements, and turning others into luxuries rather than necessities. I'm talking about watches, calculators, dedicated media players, and even handheld games consoles and cameras – the capabilities of which are all contained, to varying degrees, in the not-so-humble smartphones lurking inside your pocket. Alarm clocks are another product that should by all rights be on the endangered list ... especially as there is now an iPhone accessory that brings old-school alarm clock functionality to your smartphone.
While there are still some who, at the mention of the alarm clock, might think of a small, spring-driven, mechanical device topped by a couple of bells with a hammer between them, my generation would probably envision a digital clock radio. Recently, designers have come up with more and more ingenious (read evil
) ways to get us out of bed - such as a clock with wheels
that runs away at the appointed hour with buzzer sounding, or a 113dB sonic boom skull
that also shakes the bed until you switch it off. The Ramos Alarm Clock from Paul Sammut is another design aimed at the dedicated snoozer who can usually find a way to prolong the warmth and comfort under the covers. The clock is wirelessly linked to a separate Defuse Panel located in another room, such as the bathroom, and a code will need to be correctly entered to silence the buzzer.
Have you ever noticed how your alarm clock sometimes wakes you up in a much more jarring fashion than usual? That’s because on those occasions, you happen to be in one of the deeper states of sleep when it goes off. Not only is it more difficult to wake from these states, but people who do so also end up feeling less rejuvenated by their time in the sack. Scientists in India, however, think they may be on their way to designing an alarm clock that only wakes you up when the time is right.
While Gizmag has covered quite a number of alarm clocks
in the past, the My Wake Up Call motivating messaging system certainly stands out as a unique way to rise and shine.
To many people, it seems almost inconceivable that you can sleep through the aural brutality of an alarm clock, yet a small percentage of us can indeed, mask out all but the loudest of sounds without batting an eyelid. For those people, there is now "The Skull", a Sonic Boom alarm clock on steroids that pumps out 113 db of sound, flashes bright red light from its eye sockets, and strobes bright orange from a strip of flashing lights on the front. If that's not enough to rouse you, the skull comes with the company's "Bone Crusher" bed shaker attachment to shake you back into your body.
There's definitely no shortage of alarm clock apps available for the iPhone
, but a new app, simply called A!arm, offers users a slightly different way to start the day. Instead of fumbling for their iPhone to shut off the alarm when roused from your slumber, A!arm allows users to silence the din by doing something that most of us have done at one time or another – shouting at the alarm. While it isn't exactly the most zen-like approach to starting the day, it could be a good way to relieve some tension first thing in the morning.
French media player specialist Archos is the latest to offer a modern take on the bedside radio alarm clock. Rather than wake you with a simulated sunrise
or other mood lighting, the Arnova's alarm can be set to your favorite internet radio station or web TV channel. Users can load audio, photo or video files directly to the device's internal memory or via SD cards, wirelessly stream content from a computer via uPnP, and feed in tunes from an external MP3 player.
If you want to wake up gently to a sunrise, there are a couple of things you can do. You can invest in one of the many digital alarm clocks that start a simulated sunrise (like PURE's Twilight
or Philip's Wake-up Light
) or you can leave your curtains open and wait for the sun to shine through them. Taylor Franklin Hide believes that he might have a third option in the form of the LUMI – a high-tech sleeping mask with faux sunrise technology built-in.
Ever since the first sundial cast its shadow we've been looking for new and inventive ways to tell the time. Timepieces that talk to you
, use LED lights
instead of numbers and spell out the time in words
are just some of the results, and although the Reflectius concept from Art Lebedev
Studio (think Optimus keyboard
) uses a standard digital readout as the display, the way it achieves this is anything but standard.