Monday, January 2, 2012

Lark Un-Alarm Clock

For the last couple of weeks I have been testing out the Lark Un-Alarm clock. This alarm clock consists of an iPhone app, a sensor and a wrist strap. Before going to bed simply pull the sensor from the charging dock, slip it in to the soft wrist band, open your iPhone app and set what time you want to be woke up. That is all there is to it for the alarm function. The advantage for those users who are not single it provides a silent alarm for waking you without disturbing your partner. I get the feeling this will be a popular gift for people who have to wake up early when they have a partner who doesn’t.

The sensor vibrates at wakeup time using a random pattern so you do not get used to it. Once you are awake just grab your iPhone and slide to turn off the alarm. Don’t worry if you are conceded you might take the Lark off in your sleep. The alarm has a backup audible alarm that causes your iPhone to emit soothing sounds to ease you back to consciousness if you do not turn off the vibrating alarm in a certain time period.

One you turn off the alarm is where the Lark starts getting cool. The Bluetooth connection between your phone and the Lark sensor allows the Lark to upload information to your phone to tell you about how you slept. How long did it take to fall asleep? How many times did you wake up in the night? How many hours of sleep did you get? All of this information is recorded and stored in your phone. The when and how much you moved about is displayed on a graph at the bottom of the screen. So users can start building a history of their sleep patterns.

I didn’t sign up for the sleep coach since it was an extra $60.00 and I apparently am already a pretty good sleeper.

My first night with Lark wasn’t quite successful I didn’t realize for the device to monitor your sleep patterns you must setup a wake up time. So for those that like to sleep in on the weekends until your eyes roll open it will not track how you sleep on those nights. By the second night I set an alarm time which I woke up before I reached but because I spent a sufficient amount of time sleeping the Lark sensor uploaded my sleep information to my iPhone and told me about my quality of sleep. I was surprised to say the least at how the software evaluated my sleep and said I slept well. I always imagined I had difficultly sleeping but apparently I do not. I fall asleep fairly quickly and wake up several times in the night most of which I never even remember.

I have not been able to find technical details on how the sensor works. Based on it’s size and the sleeve it fits it in the wrist band I believe that it is an accelerometer that measures movement to determine if you are asleep or not.

So for the $129 price tag it is a worthwhile purchase if you have a partner who isn’t on your sleep schedule. However for me it seems just to be a high priced toy. The second downfall of this device is if you want the Sleep Coach it raises the price another $60.00. The sleep coach should just come with the device for the $129.00 price point. This is an expensive alarm clock when your smartphone or iPod Touch sold separately provides most of the intelligence. It is an interesting device and it is fun but I just can’t justify the $129.00 price tag. If you or your partner has to get up much earlier then it is a worth while investment.

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