In addition to the Axon SleepSmart Alarm described last week, several other devices have emerged to provide a more satisfying or reliable wakeup.
First, there’s the SleepTracker Watch, which is already available. Like Axon’s headband, the SleepTracker monitors your sleep stages and wakes you during a light stage of sleep. The watch seems to determine sleep cycles through a combination of temperature, pulse, and arm movement — exactly how is proprietary. But the testimonials suggest it works (via Gizmodo).
Second, an approach to waking that doesn’t take advantage of human sleep physiology, but nonetheless takes advantage of humans: Clocky, the runaway robot alarm clock. Via the Boston Globe report:
When the snooze alarm is pushed, Clocky rolls off the bedside table, tumbles to the floor and, thanks to shock-absorbing materials and rubber wheels, races away from the bed. It bumps into objects, repositions itself, and eventually comes to rest in a place far enough away from the bed that its owner will be forced to get up to find it when the alarm sounds a second time. A built-in microprocessor randomly programs the clock’s speed, distance, and routes, so that it won’t land in the same spot twice.
“The idea is one that really resonates with people,” said Nanda’s adviser, V. Michael Bove Jr., who heads consumer electronics research at the Media Lab. “It’s an example of technology applied to a product that lets you have more of a relationship with it. It’s predictable, but not too predictable. It hides in a different place all the time. And you don’t have to be a computer scientist to use it.”
Sure, it sounds like a cruel device from some dystopian future, but I’ll bet customers can’t stay mad at the cute furry clock. Clocky should be available next year.
More at SleepTracker, and the MIT Media Lab…