Are you losing sleep through no fault of your own? Is your partner’s alarm waking you at an unearthly hour and disrupting your final REM cycle? Help may be at hand. A Kickstarter to fund an alarm clock called ‘Wake' that wakes people up individually without disturbing other bedmates has raised nearly $50,000 in under a week, and donations are going strong.
The alarm itself beams a sunrise effect light onto the sleeping person and a focused sound to top that off. It even looks for the user it has to wake up and targets them rather than waking both parties. We’ve seen alarm clocks that use special light before however, this one uses a parametric speaker that works like a directed laser beam of sound rather than a normal speaker so that it doesn’t disturb others.
‘Wake' looks for you in the bed so if you've left early it won’t try and wake your partner up and, by knowing you’re in bed, it also works in the case of oversleeping – never again will you accidentally sleep through your alarm. Privacy is important so they don’t use cameras and they don’t use sensors in your bed or on your body; ‘Wake’s' sensor only sees a temperature graph and – even when you are close together – it is capable of detecting individuals.
What we find particularly interesting is all the possible extra features that will be researched if the Kickstarter is complete. For those who want a focused light for reading in bed, this would be simple and possible with ‘Wake' and the phone app could even create a privacy setting to stop disturbances while you are sleeping. However these two possible features could also really create something spectacular for carers of the old or even carers of the new-born.
What if you had an alarm clock that was linked to your baby’s monitor but took turns with waking each parent for feeding or changing? ‘Wake‘ could use its parametric speakers to pipe the cries to one parent rather than both allowing parents to gain only a few hours rest a night. Lastly and the most important ‘Wake' could alert a caregiver in the event that an elderly person gets up in the night and doesn't return. This could be perfect in the case of care-homes, private hospitals and even worried relatives.
‘Wake' is a working product already however it just requires the funding to go into production. It wouldn’t be surprising if we saw this and other similar clock devices being developed – especially now we have seen the entry of the Apple Watch. It seems we have entered a generation of people fixed on health improvements and at the forefront of this comes stress and sleep.