From London Hackspace Wiki
Revision as of 21:23, 11 November 2010 by (talk) (Less desirable ideas)
Jump to: navigation, search

Alarm clocks are shit. I want to build one that actually works at a cost that isn't absurd.

No, I do not want to use my phone. I forget to plug it in.



  • Does not rely on being irritating.
    • Should be designed for gradual wakeup.
    • That means no "find the puzzle piece I ejected into orbit" solutions.
  • Uses the time signal to set itself, should be aware of DST as a result.
  • Stores settings on flash so they're not lost in power cuts.
  • Has a programmable wake-up sequence.
  • Settings for week and weekend.
  • Mains powered, but relatively low power.


  • Dawn light, use a full-spectrum bulb. Turns on at the start of the wakeup sequence, gradually gets brighter.
    • Allow for plugging in an external lamp instead of a built in lamp?
  • Alarm starts to make noise at start of wakeup sequence, gradually getting louder. Possibly with breaks.
  • "Cut off" time, at which point the thing goes mental and forces you to get up if you've not turned it off.
    • Does this even need a snooze if you go for gradual wakeup?
  • A wireless off button that lives in another room.
    • Maybe unnecessary if it's designed for gradual-wakeup?
    • Maybe just for "Cut off" mode.
  • Programmable noises for wakeup sequence. USB upload? SD card?
  • Detect if someone is actually in the bed, and cancel the alarm if not. No more irritating the neighbors when you go away.
  • Some form of sleep cycle monitoring.
    • Change the alarm to start going off at the correct point in your cycle.
    • Preferably via a method that doesn't require something in the bed with you, or a wristband. Possibly a PIR type sensor, or a camera.
    • For bonus points, allow data export for data porn. Maybe save to the SD card with the sound files on.
      • If we have data export, I'd love to get the data about the time between alarm activation and shutoff over time.
        • And if we're doing data logging over time, add temperature logging in the room. Especially if you can associate that with the quality of the sleep cycle.
    • track natural sleep patterns over an extended period of time. you can do this by "training" the alarm clock every time you wake up. sleep cycles can then be shared using an alarm clock social network. this would be interesting as you could train your own sleeping cycles with other people's. i would like to try Keith Richard's sleep cycle myself. he must be doing something right if he's lived this long. (@smallcaps)
  • Multiple alarms that can be set on a day-by-day basis
  • Configurable via a web-interface (using buttons and shit is painful)
  • Sources alarm times from an .ics file (Google calendar etc.)
  • Wake up to the sound of random, interesting facts.
    • Gives you something to look forward to every day.
      • Isn't this called "Radio 4"?
    • The BBC World Service publishes a 5-minute news bulletin on the hour, and a 2-minute one on the half hour.

Less desirable ideas

  • A beers-made - along the lines of a teas-made but with beer instead of tea; and therefore a fridge instead of a kettle.
  • A bees-made - along the lines of a beers-made but releases a swarm of angry bees instead of beer; and therefore a hive instead of a fridge.
  • A cheese-made - along the lines of a bees-made but with a large rubber hand that wafts strong smelling cheese under your nose instead of a hive.
  • A fleas-made - along the lines of a cheese-made but releases a swarm of fleas instead of a strong smell; and therefore a box instead of a cheese.
  • A freeze-made - along the lines of a fleas-made but releases liquid hydrogen all over the bed, forcing you to move quickly; therefore a tank instead of a box.
  • An oil-made - along the lines of freeze-made but sprays scalding oil over the bed, forcing your to fry; therefore hob and pan instead of tank.
  • A pees-made - along the lines of an oil-made but sprays body temperature urine all over the bed, forcing you out of the bed after thinking you've just pissed yourself.
  • A knees-made - threatens the sleeper with kneecapping in the voice of Armando Iannucci's East End Thug character.
  • A bears-made - along the lines of a knees-made but with a live bear scaring you awake; and therefore a cage instead of a speaker.
  • A please-mate - along the lines of a bears-made but instead whines at you obsequiously until you hit the snivelling little creep; and therefore a creep instead of a cage.
  • A tears-made - the packaging gives no information on whether this is the crying or ripping sort of tears. It may be both.
  • A fees-made - sends bailiffs in to repossess the sleeper's goods if they don't wake up. NB somewhat dangerous as a lawyer is required.
  • A tase-made - also along the lines of a please-mate, but uses a bolt designed to induce neuromuscular incapacitation; and therefore 1200 volts instead of a creep.
  • A midge-made - along the lines of a fleas-made but releases a whining midge to buzz in your ear; and therefore a tank of stagnant water instead of a cheese.
  • A midget-made - along the lines of the midge-made but releases a single whining midget; cage instead of tank of stagnant water.
  • A french-maid - along the lines of a midget-made, but appealing to a different fetish; a short dress instead of short legs.
  • A brides-made - along the lines of a french-maid, but catering for drunken uncles.
  • A tease-made - generic term for the previous two, the aim being to entice the dozer out of bed.
  • Big Shower Button - The button to turn off the alarm is located in the shower which is running with cold water. The button has to be held down for 30 seconds or the alarm will restart.
  • Irritable Radio - Wakes you up by playing songs from tag radio. Starts with the "pop" tag and iterates through tags until it reaches "Bieber"
    • isn't the same effect achieved by using a normal radio alarm tuned to any regional commercial radio station