Tom Cobbenhagen

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Intuitive Alarm Clock


Aesthetics of Interaction (DCB200)


D. McCallum, S. Wensveen, K. Andersen, F. van der Weiden


T.T. van Bussel, R. Magyari, G. Best, B. de Groot

This course consisted of several deliverables, but this was the final deliverable as a result of a group project. Alarm clocks are always similar to each other, as well as their interactions. The goal was to create intuitive, rich interactions with an alarm clock.

The idea

When people go to sleep, it is often more important to look at number of the amount of sleep, rather than what time they go to bed and get up again. With this design, we aspired to limit the alarm clock to this function, while having the standard functions of such a clock available in an intuitive way

The design

The clock has the shape of a standard pendulum-based clock, with the outlines of a clockface and pendulum. However, there are no dials on the face itself. Around the clock’s face, is a light element that acts as a wake-up light in the morning.

The pendulum is the most interesting part, as it has two sides. The back side has a liquid inside which, when shaken vigorously, will generate a lot of bubbles. By shaking it a lot or a little, the user can define how ‘stressing’ the alarm should be in the morning (e.g.: is there time to sleep in?). When the pendulum is attached, the user can lift the pendulum and raise it to the desired amount of hours of sleep. When they let go, the alarm is set.

If the user wakes up at night, they can see at the distance being traveled to see whether it is time to wake up soon. The exact hour is not important, but the time relative to the time of waking up is. When the pendulum is still traveling a lot, there are many hours left. When it is near its equilibrium point, it is almost time to wake up.

After the wake-up light has been initiated, the user can hit the snooze button by restarting the pendulum slightly.