5 Alarm Clock Apps with an Original Way to Wake You Up

Article by George Norman (Cybersecurity Editor)

on 05 May 2016

The alarm goes off, early in the morning. Half asleep, you hit the snooze button. A few minutes after, the alarm goes off again, and you hit the snooze button one more time. When you eventually wake up, you realize it’s incredibly late. You’re going to be late, again, because you failed to wake up on time – because your alarm app failed to get you out of bed on time.

Sound familiar? It does for me. A standard alarm app will never be able to get me out of bed early in the morning. I need an app that takes a novel approach to waking me up, even a forceful means of getting me out of bed. Like these five.

1. Mimicker Alarm

Mimicker Alarm, a Microsoft Garage project, lets you snooze the alarm, but it does not let you dismiss it. Not unless you play a "mimic" game first. These games are grouped into three categories:
  • Express yourself – mimic the emotion by taking a selfie. Example: make an angry face and take a picture (save or share the picture if you want to).
  • Color capture – match the color by snapping a pic. Example: find something green and take a picture (save or share the picture if you want to).
  • Tongue Twister – repeat the phrase by speaking it out loud. Example: tap the mic icon and say "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood."
I forgot to mention that there’s a timer on each game. If you’re too sleepy to complete it in time, the alarm will start ringing again. To dismiss the alarm, you must start a new game.

“We’re a lot nicer than other alarms,” explained Microsoft Program Manager Allison Light. “You start with dismiss or snooze. If you snooze, the default is five minutes to delay the game. If you dismiss, we mute the alarm – but then you have 30 seconds to complete this challenge. And if you don’t complete that game in time, we assume you’ve fallen back asleep and then the alarm will start ringing again. You only need to complete one game to shut off the alarm. You can choose the sounds and which games you want to play.”

Mimicker Alarm is available for free on Google Play.
The project’s code is open sourced on GitHub.

2. The Rock Clock

This is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's alarm app. It has no snooze button! Why? Because The Rock doesn’t do snoozing. So when the alarm goes off, you better get out of bed and get out there. No excuses!

By default, the app uses a "classic alarm" tone, which is just Johnson going "beep, beep, beep." Then there’s the "ring ring" alarm which is Johnson going "ring, ring" with increasing irritation. And then there’s the "lovely flute" alarm that features soft jazz flute tunes accompanied by Johnson whispering “wakey, wakey.”

There’s much that I like about this app: the interesting art style; the nice collection of alarm tones; the fact that you can set a goal; the daily motivational messages from The Rock himself; and last but not least, the fact that you can set your alarm to sync with Johnson’s own.

The Rock Clock is available for free on Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

You can preview the app’s 25 custom alarm tones on the official Project Rock website.

3. Alarmy (Sleep If U Can)

Just like any other alarm app, Alarmy lets you set a custom alarm tone. You can choose between one of your own ringtones, pick some music from your collection, or select “loud ringtone”, which is in fact just a bunch of incredibly annoying alarm tones.

Alarmy has two ways of getting you out of bed. First, it blasts the most annoying sounds you have ever heard. In case that’s not enough, it also makes it difficult to turn off the alarm. Four alarm off methods are available: take a picture, shake your phone, solve some math problems, or scan a barcode/QR code.

Alarmy is available for free on Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

4. Wakie

Wakie takes a social approach to waking you up. It is a social alarm clock or human-to-human alarm clock – which in layman’s terms means that it will get a stranger to call you in the morning and wake you up. You specify when you want to wake up and a Wakie user will call you when it’s time to get up.

And that’s not all. You can also chat with another Wakie user about pretty much anything.

"Wakie is a friendly community of people who help each other by sharing their own life experience and zest for life," says the Wakie website. "You can set any topic you want to discuss and get an anonymous voice call from someone with similar interest in a few seconds. It’s like having millions of friends who know everything and are ready to help 24/7. We are talking about love, life issues, traveling, business and any other issue which needs to be discussed.”

Wakie is available for free on Google Play, Apple’s App Store, and Microsoft’s Windows Store.

5. Alarm Clock Xtreme

This is an app developed by security company AVG, app that’s been around for quite some time. It lets you choose what happens when the alarm goes off: play a ringtone, play your own music, play random songs, launch an application. It also lets you choose how you want to snooze or dismiss the alarm: by pressing the on-screen button, by shaking your device, by solving math problems, by entering a CAPTCHA code, or by pressing the side buttons.

Alarm Clock Xtreme is available as a Free, ad-supported version on Google Play.

Alongside the Free version there's a paid Pro version, also available on Google Play.

Honorable mention – The Pavlok Shock Clock

Making silly faces at your phone did not work. The Rock telling you to get out of bed did not work. Annoying sounds did not work, solving math problems did not work, nothing worked. Perhaps this will: it’s a wearable that uses electric shocks to convince you to get up.

Learn more about the Pavlok Shock Clock on Indiegogo.

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