Microsoft knows how difficult it is to get up in the morning, especially when the choice is between the comfortable warmth of a bed and the stress of commuting to the office. That's why Microsoft's Garage Project came up with the Mimicker Alarm application, which involves mimicking a random set of actions in order to turn it off, and to make sure users are prepared to face the day.
The Mimicker Alarm application was developed to show the power of Microsoft Project Oxford, an Artificial Intelligence platform that allows the app to determine emotion, recognize speech and analyze colors in order to decide whether a user mimicked the instructions satisfactorily.
"The Mimics require you to be alert, smart, and use yourself and your surroundings. Watch out - if you don't finish the game in time, we'll assume you've fallen back asleep and your alarm will start ringing again," Microsoft wrote. The Mimicker alarm is available for download on Google Play and GitHub.
Microsoft is not the only company trying to find a way to help people wake up and stay up in the morning. There have been many ideas - both weird and interesting - for more "aggressive" alarm clocks tossed around.
Some work to annoy, some force users to accomplish a task, some entice the user to get out of bed and then there are those that seem to want users to get a heart attack. Below are some of our more interesting finds:
Clocky is popular among the annoying alarm clocks in existence. Developed by Nanda Home, Clocky's purpose, besides waking people up, is to instigate a chase before it can be turned off. Equally annoying is Clocky's sibling, Tocky. Watch them in action in the video below.
Here are two other interesting alarm clocks we found. First is the Carpet alarm clock, which forces one to stand up and step on it before the alarm stops.
The second is the Dumbbell alarm clock, which requires a person to do a set of 30 repetitions of lifts before it turns off. One does not only wake up, but gets to do a minimum daily workout too!
The Wake N' Bacon alarm clock will entice anyone out of bed with the smell of freshly cooked bacon. All the user needs to do is place a strip of bacon in before sleeping and it will cook that piece of meat a few minutes before the alarm. The best part: bacon!
This Sonic Bomb Dual Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker is the real deal. It emits loud, explosive sounds, sirens, lights and a buzzer ringing at 113 decibels, so if there's a really a difficult person to wake up, ideally someone who does not have a heart problem, this could do the trick. After all, there must be a reason why it's nicknamed "The Bomb."
Here's a bonus gentle alarm clock: Yanko Design's Silent alarm clock. It won't ring, buzz or emit any sort of sound. What it will do is to send a signal to a rubber ring that will vibrate to wake wearer up. The way to turn it off? Put your hands up in the air and shake 'em like you just don't care.