Thursday, April 17, 2008

wake up & say hello to Clocky.

in the ever-amazing world of gadgets, wired and wireless (for which i am a sucker, though my wallet and costly penchant for comics thankfully keeps me from making TOO many purchases here), it's often the simplest things that make me smile.

meet Clocky. basically a "smart" alarm clock (with a personality). you hit snooze one too many times (like i am notorious for, much to Kat's chagrin), and Clocky wheels away on his own, rolling around the room, making annoying droid-like sounds all along the way, which ultimately gets you up and about for whatever it is you have to get up and about for in the morning (or night, or early morning @ stupid-o-clock where it is so dark out).

i've tried everything. at first there was simply putting my alarm clock on the other side of the room, but the semi-conscious "sleepy monster" that is sleepy-Raman is too smart for this. he gets up, hits snooze, and curls back into bed. sometimes he even performs complex arithmetic to push out the alarm time to allow for the EXACT time needed to get ready in the morning. over time, i've squeezed every extra minute out of the morning. but then wakey-Raman decided to mess with the less-aware sleepy-Raman, and start resetting the clock to the "oh-shit" time (which is 30 mins fast). that had the desired effect for awhile, as silly sleepy-Raman is slow to learn.
but then sleepy-Raman subversively decided to convince gadgety-Raman to buy an i-Home (seen here to the right). wakey-Raman thought this was cool, as he loves choosing what new music he can wake up into the morning. what wakey-Raman did not realize, was that sleepy-Raman could now use a remote control to snooze the alarm. in a war-like, counter-measure, wakey-Raman decided to stop programming music, but rather leaving a raucous drum-opening punk song, to play (which Kat hates). now we're back to the simple buzzer on the iHome, with the occasional remote-control snooze. nothing has been solved.

but i digress.

Clocky was invented by a an MIT Media Lab student (where so many cool things come from), and is a great example of where a simple consumer need drives the design, VS so many other things out there that are focused on loading up on features (which are great, don't get me wrong i LOVE features) rather doing the one thing they are supposed to do amazingly well.

without further adieu, let me properly introduce you to Clocky:

i hope it will be the best $40-60 someone spends on me (hint hint, nudge nudge, wink wink). OR maybe i should just draw a picture and see what happens...


  1. I've seen two other alarm clocks which might help with your battle...

    With the first clock the buzzer can't be disabled until you answer a simple arithmetic question and punch in the answer. By the time you've figured out how to add or subtract you're awake enough not to crawl back in to bed. Annoying, but it works.

    The second alarm clock measures your brain waves to determine the best time to wake you. I don't know the specifics but there is a certain point in your ~3 hour sleep cycle which is the best time to be woken up, you don't feel groggy. You set a wake up time (aka "point of no return") and the clock will wake you before this time but at the best possible moment. I think this also came out of MIT.

    Now if they could just invent something so we don't have to sleep, wouldn't that be simpler?

  2. you clearly weren't reading. sleepy Raman has mastered complex arithmetic (since he can calculate what time to reset the alarm clock to), and has been known to handle simple calculus equations.

    he's really quite cunning.


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