5 alarm clocks that are either genius or borderline sadistic


“Follow your dreams.” Great advice. That’s why I try to stay asleep for as long as I can each morning. Sadly, there are always people and things demanding that I wake up and function as a human being. To comply, I have to use alarm clocks. I tried using apps on my smartphone but most developers include a “snooze” button. It’s amazing how many times I can press snooze in the space of 2 hours.

Fortunately there are alarm clocks out there that take a more creative approach. Here are some of our favourites.

1. Ruggie

Ruggie is a current Kickstarter project from Windustries Limited that has already smashed its target. This alarm clock takes the form of a comfortable rug a bit larger than your average bathroom scales. You have to leave your bed and stand on the rug to stop the alarm, which means no more snooze-a-thons. The Ruggie also tries to motivate you for the day ahead by playing customisable voice messages when you get up. It’s going to cost around £95 including UK shipping.

2. Wakē

Another Kickstarter project and, if it works, a very clever one. It’s a device that sits on the wall above your bed and wakes you gradually using light and sounds. What I love about this alarm is that it can target specific individuals in the bed. If you sleep with your partner but need to get up at different times, there’s no need for the alarm to wake you both up at once. Wakē uses a body heat sensors to find you and sends very targeted light and sounds at just you. A white LED will feel like sunlight on your dozing eyelids but won’t disturb your partner. Wakē uses a parametric speaker too, which means the sound waves are very narrow and can target individuals. Apparently.

You can pre-order Wakē from Lucera Labs for $249.99 (£174.47) with $40 (£27.92) shipping. It’s pricey but does use a lot of technology. It might be a worthwhile purchase for couples if it works as well as they claim.

3. Dumbbell alarm clocks

Dumbbell alarm clocks are exactly what you think they are. There are a few of these available from various manufacturers such as this one available on Amazon for £16.40 plus £3.99 shipping. It wakes you up but won’t let you snooze until you’ve done 30 curls. Most of them can detect whether you have good form or not so you’ll have to do it properly. I wonder how much further we could take this? Pull ups? Deadlifts? An exercise bike that makes you cycle at least a mile before the alarm stops?

Microsoft has created a horrible alarm app for Android. To stop the alarm, you have to perform a task set by the app. The name, Mimicker, comes from the default task of taking a selfie while making the facial expression requested by the app. The point is to make you think about what you’re doing, which will hopefully wake you up a bit and keep you awake. Other tasks include saying a long tongue twister aloud, playing a colour-matching game, or actually getting out of bed. That’s all well and good but I think I’d just turn my phone off. Or smash it.

Ok, let’s be clear that this final alarm clock doesn’t actually exist. It’s not a Kickstarter project either; it’s a joke product by Think Geek. It’s a standard digital alarm clock. It tells the time, it sounds an alarm to wake you up, and there’s a big snooze button if you need another 5 minutes. Oh, it’s also connected to your bank account via Wi-Fi and will donate your own money to your least favourite company every time you snooze. How’s that for motivation? It’s not actually real but it would be so easy to create as a DIY project. Actually, I might market it myself. 50% of the donations go to me. If I’m your least favourite organisation then you’re laughing!

On the subject of DIY projects, I’m currently building a robot that will do various tasks for me and tweet about its activities. One feature I’ve already programmed is for it to tweet a sleeping selfie of me if I don’t get up and press a button. Hopefully the fear of other humans seeing morning-me will be enough to get me out of bed. Either that or the robot will mysteriously be found in bits outside the window.

Need more morning ideas? Check out the alarm clock that wakes you up with smells.

Main image © iStock/megaflopp