I am not a morning person. I never was and will probably never be, but I have a plan. In the last couple of years I tried many things to improve my personal ability of getting out of the bed in morning, after a fashion. The problem is simple and consistent. I work late, tinker until early in the morning, sleep, try to do some sport, run to work. Most of the times: half asleep. This is going to end.

Trying a lot of different helpers to get out of the bed led up to the conclusion that I have to combine the forces. There are a variety of factors that would create a perfect wake-up system. Naturally this might only work for me. Everybody's routine and preferences are different, but maybe you are a similar kind of edible dormouse and can benefit from this.

In the picture above you can see a little sketch. The sketch only shows some components that would make up a perfect personal alarm. It is a bit technical, but this is what will be built and in a couple of posts how it exactly works and how it will look like.

These are the important components...

The mobile

Like a lot of other folks, I don't really have a physical alarm clock anymore. My mobile phone is with me all the time and I don't even remember when exactly it replaced the alarm clock. Since it became some sort of miniature mission control for my life, it also handles the management of waking me up. Actually it doesn't do a great job, but is the most practical device for management and set-up.

The goal: The smart phone needs will be mission control centre.


Sleeping in on a Saturday or Sunday is great. Not because you can sleep late, but you can wake up with the sun. Naturally. Unfortunately, most of the times, that I have to get out of bed, the sun is not quite there yet, so I have to wake up in the dark and find my way out of the cave. Philips recently tackled this problem quite nicely. Their wake-up light simulates a sunrise in your bedroom, hence helps you to. They say it's a clinically tested improvement. Friends say it works great. I tried it, I love it.

The goal: The alarm clock will simulate a sunrise.

Versatile Audio

This is where the iOS built-in alarm sucks the most. It is repetitive and limited. Getting new sounds is a hassle. The bigger problem is, that I somehow get used to repetitive sounds and learn to ignore them without intent. People living close to a streetcar or train station are most familiar with this phenomenon. Once you have guests in your place and they ask you, how annoying the noise is, your first thought probably is: "What noise". You learned to overhear it. Same for me with alarm sounds. That is why I have an alarm clock that plays real radio in the morning. Every morning something different. Because many German music stations are

The goal: The wake-up sound will be some sort of webcast.


Many of the components in the sketch, I have never touched in my life. They all have been discussed with friends and colleagues. Everything seems to make sense, but it is all subject to change. The reason for putting this together is simply to learn about couple of things about prototyping (physical, server side, clients) and for the sake of tinkering. At the moment, there is absolutely nothing interesting on the telly.

The goal: Enjoy and learn while doing.

A little extra

There is a little extra gimmick that might be worth investigating... but more about that later.