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Brilliant.
March 29, 2005 9:07 AM   Subscribe

Clocky. An MIT student has designed an alarm clock with built-in wheels and motion sensors. Upon hitting the snooze button, Clocky will roll of your nighttable, bump around your room, and hide, forcing you to have to get up and look for him instead of hitting the button again.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (38 comments total)

 
awesome. I need this.
posted by jba at 9:10 AM on March 29, 2005


nice! and how about this one
posted by mailhans at 9:12 AM on March 29, 2005


That looks like a really good idea. For a single person.
posted by fshgrl at 9:17 AM on March 29, 2005


I need this. I really, really need this. I like the hanging clock too, but the MIT student is right - the glowing ball I'll bat across the room like a cat toy. It will be broken in two days. The little fuzzy, ugly Clocky I'd probably put up with for a while.
posted by LeeJay at 9:19 AM on March 29, 2005


The one problem I see with this is that the source of the alarm's sound moves away once Snooze is pressed. One design I saw that I thought was particularly ingenious was an alarm clock that could only be turned off by placing a specially weighted golf ball in a basket on its base. Whenever it would go off, it would tip its basket and send the golf ball rolling off to some random location in your room.

Same concept as Clocky, but simpler and it keeps the annoying alarm as close to the sleeper's face as possible.
posted by SemiSophos at 9:28 AM on March 29, 2005


Nice. I need one of those. I wonder if it works on carpets; if not could they build one with caterpillar tracks? And something that copes with the clothes I leave strewn everywhere?
posted by TheDonF at 9:31 AM on March 29, 2005


Thanks for this.

*scratches "Clocky" off list of possible pseudonyms*
posted by dfowler at 9:34 AM on March 29, 2005


also see slashdot
posted by quiet at 9:35 AM on March 29, 2005


Video, please?
posted by Gyan at 9:45 AM on March 29, 2005


Awwwww, man. I was about to post this - bastard.

As for the clock - I would toss it out the window after a couple of days, for sure. I'm not a morninng person and a rousing game of hide-n-seek with the damn alarm clock would REALLY piss me off.
posted by shoppingforsanity at 9:59 AM on March 29, 2005


AWESOME. I need this so badly, says the girl who lives 2 blocks away from work, and still manages not to make it in till 10 every morning...
posted by scody at 10:30 AM on March 29, 2005


Saw this the other day and I like the idea but it would probably be alot healthier and less annoying to just go to bed earlier.
posted by fenriq at 10:49 AM on March 29, 2005


My cat does all this and more.
posted by scratch at 10:59 AM on March 29, 2005


Clocky must die.
posted by Down10 at 11:10 AM on March 29, 2005


It would drive my dogs insane. I'd love to see that.
posted by cmyk at 11:11 AM on March 29, 2005


My two-year-old does the trick for me.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 11:44 AM on March 29, 2005


Coming soon to a Brookstone near you: Carpet-safe, anti-Clocky landmines for your bedroom.


Also - what shoppingforsanity and Down10 said.
posted by 27 at 11:56 AM on March 29, 2005


The developer is actually a researcher at the MIT Media Labs, not a student. (Hey, what's mefi without pedantry?) Very cool nonetheless.
posted by diftb at 12:12 PM on March 29, 2005


But does it cuddle afterwards?
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:48 PM on March 29, 2005


You know, rather getting one of these fancy newfangled MIT alarm clocks you could just put the one you already have across the room so you have to get out of bed and turn it off.
posted by exceptinsects at 1:11 PM on March 29, 2005


It would make for great target practice.
posted by jonmc at 1:20 PM on March 29, 2005


nice, but an IR sensor would allow clocky to orient towards your sleeping body and spray you with a squirt gun.

A little tape recorded cackle might be good too.
posted by m39 at 1:31 PM on March 29, 2005


Why go half-hog? The problem as I see it is this: people *think* they want to wake up, but when push comes to shove, when the alarm goes off, they really don't.

So there are two possible solutions: 1) impose your will on your future self and cause wakefulness directly, or 2) make your future self want to get up.

For 1): Your new wakeup device "Tyler Durden" shoots you with a minuscule dart tipped with adrenochrome. Refills available by mail, write Gonzo & Gonzo, General Delivery, Queretaro, MX.

For 2): Alarm clocks were never like this. A robot arm with infrared sensors seeks out and tweaks your nipple -- hard! Our new wakeup device "Titty Twister" ensures that yes, you really *do* want to get up.
posted by sninky-chan at 2:37 PM on March 29, 2005


Blimey I need a clocky! I have to have 5 alarm clocks when I have to get up at 5.30am for my early shifts. I have one of those bell alarms and the arm that turns it off is broken. I have to physically pick it up from the other side of the bed and shove it under the pillow to stop it from ringing. I'm a deep sleeper and not a morning person and needless to say I've slept through all 5 alarms many a time!
posted by floanna at 2:56 PM on March 29, 2005


I'll take one of these, too.
posted by blendor at 3:32 PM on March 29, 2005


"You know, rather getting one of these fancy newfangled MIT alarm clocks you could just put the one you already have across the room so you have to get out of bed and turn it off."

I do that. And I still turn the effing thing off.
posted by radioamy at 4:51 PM on March 29, 2005


That Sleeptracker thing that blendor linked to, if it works well, is a much better solution than clocky.
posted by Gyan at 4:52 PM on March 29, 2005


In a similar vein, I seem to remember something about a blanket with optics in it that would simulate dawn. Slowly raising the (full spectrum) light level until it woke you naturally.
posted by tiamat at 5:14 PM on March 29, 2005



For 2): Alarm clocks were never like this. A robot arm with infrared sensors seeks out and tweaks your nipple -- hard! Our new wakeup device "Titty Twister" ensures that yes, you really *do* want to get up.



mmmmmm . . . .alarm clock
posted by johnj at 6:19 PM on March 29, 2005


Thanks blendor... I have to save up for a Sleeptracker now!
posted by arcticwoman at 7:43 PM on March 29, 2005


Clocky's just a silly clock, playing silly clock games! If it can grow legs and move around, what's stopping it from changing its settings? Or killing us in our sleep?
posted by elf_baby at 8:17 PM on March 29, 2005


That Sleeptracker thing that blendor linked to, if it works well

In the article linked from gizmodo, they give the Sleeptracker a very favorable review, but there are also some very harsh criticisms for it in the comments... Regardless, if I had the money, I would totally get one, just to see if it worked.
posted by blendor at 9:29 PM on March 29, 2005


This thing has made slashdot, MeFi, and I don't know how many other blogs. It's a freaking carpeted clock on wheels! What about this has so captured the attention of the geeks?
Read the bio of it's inventor, BTW, she sounds like the kind of person who would invent something like that.

which I think is cool
posted by Mr. Gunn at 9:47 PM on March 29, 2005


blendor, didn't see the comments first time around. I don't see criticisms of the functionality, rather, of the design and build quality. Contrary to the company's claims, the patent's not been approved yet, only submitted, although legally that might be leeway for promotion. Here's the patent submission for anyone interested in the technicalities.
posted by Gyan at 9:55 PM on March 29, 2005


Zen Alarm Clock. Same idea yet, but with sound, as tiamat mentioned. Slowly increasing sound which wakes you up slowly rather than immediately. The main problem with most clocks is that it just *wham* wakes you up. Slowly drawing you out of your sleep is much healthier and less likely to result in broken alarms.
posted by sophist at 10:49 PM on March 29, 2005


Why should it be so complicated?

All that's really needed is a clock with some kind of keypad, or perhaps four (or so) snooze buttons.

The first snooze can be initiated by pressing any one button. Subsequent snoozes require a more complex series of the buttons to be pressed - preferably a random sequence, maybe something like the "Simon Says" game from the 80's...

At university, when I really had to ensure that I got up on time, I'd put my alarm clock - the type with a proper bell inside - in the (ceramic) sink in my room. Not much chance that *anyone* could sleep through that... having to get up to go across the room was enough to wake up, let alone the adrenaline rush from the fright of the noise :-)
posted by Chunder at 12:53 AM on March 30, 2005


I've always had problems with staying up and sleeping in too late. I've had good results with this combination:

I use a radio across the room that turns on 45 minutes before I get up, and a standard beeping alarm clock next to my bed. The radio wakes me up gradually (and keeps me awake, since I want to pay attention to Morning Edition), and the bedside alarm clock nags me to get out of bed and go to the shower (where I can continue listening to the news on another radio).

I used to use a program I'd written that would play progressively louder and more annoying sounds. It was a cron job, so I had to find the pid of the program and kill it to stop the alarm clock. That worked well also, especially when the computer was in another room, but I find my new method is a less anxiety-inducing way to wake up (unless the morning's news is especially bad).

Also helpful: working with people whose company you enjoy.
posted by dreish at 7:17 AM on March 30, 2005


I think a keypad where you have to enter the digitally displayed, randomly generated, code number would do the trick for me
posted by Megafly at 8:25 AM on March 30, 2005


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