Monday
Dec122011

The Ultimate Alarm Clock.

I absolutely hate being late for things.  I find it to both be rude to people who may be waiting for me, as well as in the case of my job it is just plain disrespectful and unprofessional.  Sure, things happen that are outside of mycontrol, weather, traffic, etc.  I guess I have to live with that, but if it is correctable I would like to engineer the problem out. 

One of the reasons I am sometimes late is because on rare occasions I oversleep.  Waking up in the morning is the bane of my existence.  If it were up to my circadian rhythm I would go to bed at 3-4AM and wake at 12-1pm.  I simply just function better nocturnally.  On work nights I do try to get to sleep at a respectable time, so one of the things that occassionally fails me is my alarm clock.

When it comes to alarm clocks I realize that either or both of the following is true... A)  There really is no perfect alarm clock on the market and/or B) I am entirely way to picky and obsessive when it comes to alarm clocks.  Over the years I have tried several different alarm clocks and have found fault with all of them.  I am currently using the RCA RP5430 (pictured)

The problem with this current unit is I think RF noise from my cell-phone (which also resides on my headboard at night) is injecting interferring noise into the clock causing adverse effects.  I have actually seen the clock act like it is possessed (with the numbers on it flickering about randomly).  This has resulted in the time becoming changed and/or the alarm times to change, or the alarms to be disabled etc. 

It is time that I set out to build the ultimate alarm clock  This project is longer term as I have other projects to complete before hand, however this post should serve as the seed for this idea.  Below are the list of features that I would like to incorporate.  Feedback is always welcome.

  • Snooze button on top
  • A "hard snooze deadline"  a time which the system will no longer let you snooze and the only option is to wake up and turn off the alarm(see below about turning off)
  • A "cognitive puzzle" should be required to turn off the alarm, this could be entering a random number that would displayed on the display into a keypad.  This would require the user to wake up enough to do this instead of fumbling around for the button half asleep and disabling the alarm.
  • "intelligent snooze"  I like to snooze for at least 30minutes prior to waking up.  I would like a voice announcement to say something like "You have t-minus 20 minutes until wake up"
  • When the deadline alarm goes off (the time which you can no longer afford to sleep otherwise you will be late) the alarm needs to be annoying enough as to indicate the severity of the situation, yet not so annoying as to cause me to want to throw the clock (this might be difficult)
  • No Radio, I don't use sleep radios or wake radios, so I feel no need to implement this
  • Shielded from RF Interference.  I'll line the damn thing with lead if that's what it takes!! (don't email me about lead, I am not literally going to use lead, rather proper ground shielding)  I am thinking I will start with the concept of a faraday cage.

These are just a few of my thoughts, I will post more as I think of them.  I think this is very much doable.  The alarm noises could be implemented through an arduino .wav or .mp3 shield.

 

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The slide show button will play a slide show of the pictures stored on your device similar to those digital slide show picture frames you can buy.

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