01Now that smartphones have taken over the world and become tools for nearly everything we do in our daily lives, many of our daily appliances are beginning to disappear. Our phones can now be flashlights, computers, and even pedometers. They’ve replaced a huge number of things that once were de facto tools for navigating the world around us. One of these items is the alarm clock.
In 2017, alarm clocks seem a bit redundant. After all, our phones can set alarms and play music. So can smart speakers. So can a plethora of other gizmos, including our computers. But is there still a place for them in modern society? The companies touting smart alarm clocks sure hope so.
What makes smart alarm clocks worthy of our consideration?
Okay, but what can smart alarm clocks do that our other alarm-capable devices cant? Being honest, not much. Most smart alarm clocks focus on stuff like helping you along with your morning routine, gently waking you, forcing you to wake, and other related tasks. Some of these things your phone, tablet, or smart speaker might not be able to do out of the box, but there’s undoubtedly tons of apps out there that can extend the functionality to offer many of the same things as the products below.
So why bother? When it comes down to it, there are two main reasons to go with smart clocks over using an existing device. The first reason is reliability. I’m sure most of us have had that moment where our alarm didn’t go off because the phone died. Of course you could just plug in your phone, but not everyone likes leaving their phone charging overnight. Even then, restarts and other issues do arise, and since alarm clocks have one primary purpose — they tend to be more dependable at it.
The other reason? Maybe you just like something you can glance over at and see the time, no need to wake your phone. Digital assistants solve that problem, but they also have the chance of waking up your sleeping partner when you wake up in the middle of the night and want to know the time.
What are my options?
Now that you’ve heard our arguments for why you might want to consider looking into smart alarm clocks, let’s look at some of the best choices you can buy right now:
Bonjour Smart Clock
Bonjour is a smart assistant which is focused on making your morning routine as easy as possible. Think of it like Google Home, but made to focus on your daily routine. It has smart alarm features like waking you up dynamically based on traffic jams and weather conditions, and will remind you of various meetings you have scheduled throughout the day. The sleep coach can help you relax better and tracks your sleep like. you can even use that information to remind you to go to sleep earlier or to try some relaxation tips.
While the majority of uses for this alarm clock are helping you sleep, it can also help you do things to keep you healthy in other ways like encouraging you to exercise and keeping your home comfortable. It can plug into different fitness applications so that it can encourage you to move more throughout your day, and will plug into various smart home hardware to keep your house running as automatically as possible. With Alexa, Hue, WeMo integration and more, you should be able to keep running your house like a well-oiled machine.
The Bonjour can also has a number of entertainment features such as streaming music from all the major music sources, and it can even send video messages to other people with Bonjour clocks.
Kello is a bit different than the options on the market, as it focuses on helping you live a more healthy lifestyle. Kello can help you kick-start your morning routine by limiting the amount of times you’re allowed to snooze, and it knows when would be a great time to wake up based on making small changes to get you into a better rhythm. Kello has you wake up a bit earlier every single day in order to ease you into a better sleep schedule, which should eventually make it so your sleep cycles are perfectly timed and you wake up refreshed and ready to go in the morning.
Kello can also help you fall asleep faster with a variety of different features. The biggest being an LED animation that aids your breathing pattern to calm you down and help you crash. It starts you at a normal pace and moves you down to 6 breaths per minute, which is apparently the perfect pace for sleeping.
The Kello is also a master of entertainment and smart home features, so it can hook into all your favorite music and podcast apps. Because alarm clocks are also speakers, you can jam to all your favorite stuff whenever you like. It also comes with a variety of nature sounds in case that’s what you’re into in order to get a good night’s rest, so you’ll always have a huge variety to choose from at any one time.
There are also a number of other features here including power naps, features to help fight jet lag, sleep programs, and more. Kello says they will keep adding to the programs available over time. With a number of colors to choose from, the Kello is a highly advanced unit made to make your life that much simpler.
While many of the options on this list have tons of functions that make them truly smart, Ruggie is a bit more narrow in what it can do. In essence, the company has taken the whole concept of snooze and completely done away with it, by forcing the user to step on their alarm clock for at least 3 seconds before it stops playing sound, though this can be increased for those who need a little bigger push. This forces the user to get up and move along with their day, and is great for people who traditionally snooze until it’s too late.
The Ruggie is made of memory foam, so it should feel awesome on your feet any time of day. This should help get the blood flowing through your feet and motivate you to get up and get going, and you can always look down at the built in light to check what time it is.
The Ruggie also allows you to upload your own custom MP3s as alarms, so you can choose to wake up to something calming or something a bit more abrasive – it’s up to you. If you’re the type that needs a little physical push to get up and moving in the morning, this alarm clock is for you. Sure it doesn’t have all the extras, but it’s simplicity is what makes the Ruggie stand out when compared against other smart alarm clocks.
Witti Beddi Smart Clock
Witti is a smart alarm which sits very well in between a high end smart clock and something like a traditional alarm clock. Many of it’s features are mirrored by the more premier options on the market, but it acts a bit more simply in its fundamentals. The app allows you to set up to four different alarms for different days of the week, and even gives you access to things like what song to wake up to, volume, and duration. Traffic information and other metrics can also be displayed via your smartphone in case you need access to more visual information, allowing the physical alarm clock to do what it does best.
The clock has 3 programmable buttons that can work with various apps such as Spotify, Nest, Uber, and Phillips Hue, so you can easily control your home from your clock. There is a multi-color mood and wakeup light which can help you get up in morning or fit in with the LEDs in your house, and you can plug in your favorite gadgets to the 2 USB 2.1 charging ports in the back of the device.
Coming in at only $99, the Beddi is much cheaper than many of the other smart alarm options on the market, and should be able to get the essentials done just right with a nice amount of extra features thrown in.
The Barisieur Barista Alarm Clock
Many of us have a very similar routine in the morning. We get up, head to the kitchen, and immediately start preparing our morning cup of joe. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could minimize the amount of time and energy it took to do all these processes? That’s exactly what Barisieur was thinking when they created their Barisieur Barista alarm clock.
The Barisieur encourages the user to create a routine of setting up their coffee for the upcoming morning, which the company says is amazing for getting your body into a state of relaxation. While you sleep, the natural aromas of your coffee or tea are meant to help you stay relaxed, and the sound of bubbling fresh java in the morning can help wake up up refreshed and excited. There is also a small refrigerator present in the unit which can keep milk cool, so you’ll have your entire morning coffee routine stationed right next to your bed.
There are USB ports present on the back side of the alarm clock/ coffee maker, so you can plug in your phone and make sure both you and your device have enough juice for the next full day. This project was 101% funded on IndieGoGo earlier this year and is set to start shipping in September, so look for it to hit shelves soon after that.
Philips Sunrise Simulation Alarm Clock
If you’re the type who needs to get up in the dark, it can often be hard to get yourself out of bed. The darkness isn’t exactly the most motivating thing in the world, and many people wake up easier when the sun is there to help them out of bed. Fortunately, Philips has heard this call, and has developed a clock that takes a very different approach from other smart alarm clocks by emulating the sunrise before your alarm even goes off.
The Phillips Sunrise Simulation Alarm Clock simulates the gradient of a sunrise 20 to 40 minutes before you have to get up, helping your body to think it is ok to wake up naturally. Phillips says that light simulation not only helps you wake up more naturally in the morning, but can also improve your mood and give you more energy. There are 10 different light settings to choose from, so if you’re the kind of person who needs extremely bright light to help you get up in the morning, the Philips Sunrise Simulation can provide that.
You can play 5 different nature sounds to help you get up, or set your clock to play FM radio. Snoozing is as easy as pressing the front of the display, which stays cool no matter how bright you make the clock. You can even use the clock as a bedside lamp that dims at certain times. There’s nearly no limit to what you can do with this alarm.
Are there any smart alarm clocks you think we missed on this list? Are smart alarm clocks worth it when we have our phones at ready most of the time? Make sure to let us know in the comments below!