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Reverse Alarm Clock to keep kids in bed?

updated 10:50 am EDT, Fri May 11, 2007

Reverse Alarm Clock

A researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, John Zimmerman, has developed a clock meant to keep children in bed, rather than wake them up. Children often have an abundance of energy that allows them to wake up early, disturbing parents still trying to sleep; the Reverse Alarm Clock calculates moonset and sunrise, and uses this information for some simple symbology. When the clock's moon is lit, children are expected to stay in bed. When the moon is off, they are allowed to get up, but should avoid making any noise. Finally, the sun indicator shows that children must get up, which is helped by wakeup music picked earlier by the children themselves. Music can also be set for going to sleep. Unfortunately for parents, there are no current plans for a retail clock.

by MacNN Staff





  1. nashih

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Research Background

    A more in depth description of this product:

    Motivation for the reverse alarm clock Many researchers have reported on the stress experience by dual income families in both US and Europe.

    A study of dual-income parents in the UK found themselves repeatedly telling their children to hurry in the morning rush, consequently starting the day on the wrong tone because the consternation they feel towards their own behavior. From [Beech, S., Geelhoed, E., Murphy, R., Parker, J., Sellen, A. & Shaw, K., Lifestyles of working parents: Implications and opportunities for new technologies. HP Tech report HPL-2003-88 (R.1) (2004)]

    Our research, which included interviews with 12 dual-income families in Pittsburgh about their wakeup experience, found that many young children after leaving their cribs interrupted their parents’ sleep by getting out of bed at night. Reported in at the 2006 Ubicomp conference [Scott Davidoff, Min Kyung Lee, John Zimmerman, Anind Dey (2006): Principle of Smart Home Control. Conference on Ubiquitous Computing, Springer: 19-34.]

    We conducted a lab study with 6 parents from dual-income families to assess how well our clock integrates into their bedtime and wakeup routines. During this evaluation we got confirmation that children getting out of bed at night was a real problem, and we learned that most families wanted to test our product in their homes to see if it would help keep their children in bed. Reported in a paper to be published at DPPI 2007 (Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces)

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