“It’s a brand new year, which means I should really start writing a new post. I’ve been wanting to for a while, but we’ve been in lockdown for two months now and Google Analytics is the only indication that I’m not alone on the planet, and most of that is bots anyway. I’ve decided to take a page out of the book of my friend, James Stanley, who both does cool things and actually writes about them, so I’m starting to document all my projects again.
Given my non-frenetic, slow-paced lifestyle, I’ve long had a non-burning need. I don’t use an alarm to wake up, as I start work late, but I still want to know what time it is when I wake up, just to see if it’s way too early and I can go to sleep again. A few days a week I have tennis and need to get up early, but if it’s windy or rainy or very cold, the practice gets canceled and I want to know before I’m awake enough to not be able to go to sleep again.
To accommodate this lifestyle, I’ve traditionally turned to my mobile phone, but that has some disadvantages. Namely, the screen is too bright and wakes me up when I check the time, and I’m too obsessive to not check all my messages instead of falling asleep when I see the notifications on the screen. I’ve long thought that a bedside alarm clock would be perfect for me, but I couldn’t find one that fulfilled all my requirements:
- I needed something that had a screen that would always be always lit, so I could check the time with one eye and half a brain awake, in the complete darkness of the bedroom.
- A screen that wasn’t too bright and wouldn’t disturb sleep, but that would also be legible in direct sunlight, so I could see the time during the day. This meant adaptive brightness.
- Octagonal shape so I can lay it down on its side (or at 45°) instead of having to crane my neck up to check the time when lying down (I really did think of everything).
- Weather forecast for the next hour or two, so I can reliably fail to wake up for tennis when not necessary.
- Annoying beeper for alarms.
- Less annoying built-in LEDs that would increase in brighness for a few minutes before an alarm went off, so I can wake up less annoyed.”