So, here is my next idea.
I have been talking this one over with my roommate Billy b for a few weeks now, and I think that I am starting to approach something that may be a 1) feasible 2) useful and 3) pleasing product.
basically the problem that Billy (and I, and I am sure many college students have), is that we are programmed to shut off the alarm clock and go back to sleep. Many days I have woke up and noticed that my class started 2 hours ago, and although I remember setting my alarm to wake up for it, I have no memory of turning it off.
so there are several solutions to this problem both on the market and in the conceptual phase. The first one is an actual product called the sleeptracker waits for a light rem cycle to wake you. This is a supremely awesome product that takes into account the human body but I believe that it has two failings for the college market. 1) it costs too much and 2) I have a sneaking suspicion that its “off” button is just as easy to operate as the standard alarm clock. I think that we need a more brute force method of getting up, something that really forces our focus.
So what I propose is an alarm clock that is exceedingly difficult to operate. There are a few student projects (read: vaporware) that take this route.
Sfera moves away from you as you tap it to gain more sleep time. It seems that the way to turn it off is just to pull it back down to the bed. I think that this would be just a little too easy for someone as sleep deprived as our target user.
Clocky is an alarm clock that runs away from you after you hit the snooze button. I think that the challenges of building an AI system that could navigate the clothing filled wasteland that is the average college students bedroom take this one out of the running pretty quick.
This one is getting there… and it is in production too.
the KuKu Clock is an alarm that has a payload of 5 eggs that it releases upon alarm activation. To turn the alarm off, the user must replace the eggs. The only failings that I see with this design are losing all of the eggs (and not being able to turn it off) and the build quality making it extremely easy to smash (and turn off permanently).
So my solution?
Make an alarm clock that displays a randomly chosen integer and force you to type it back in. The cool part would be if the keypad changed its layout after every button press. Have the display for the time and initial number string be cheap seven segment displays, and the entry key pad be seven segment displays with buttons underneath them.
Wrap the whole thing in glavanized steel, and have it run off of a lantern battery that was held in with plate that was screwed in at 4 points. Even better a solenoid that ran off a separate supply that required a code to release the battery plate.
I think that the logic for such a system would be pretty easy to produce on a 10 dollar basic stamp, and the rest of the components (at least for a prototype module) would run in the 70 dollar range.
Other Links about alarm clocks
building a better alarm clock seems to think that alarms are good enough, but there is not enough home system integration, and also, it doesn’t read your rss feeds to you.
another non-production model that simply requires a squeeze of a teddy bear to snooze. These people have clearly not been pulling enough all nighters.
This is a collection of clever alarm clocks including a few that I have linked to, and some that I have not. Included for the sake of total completeness of this post.
So, here is my next idea.