It comes with Christmas songs!
Smart Alarm Clock provides a very simple set of services that may render a few of your bedroom devices obsolete. No, I’m not talking about those devices. Though a few of these features will serve some users more than others, the fact that they’re collected into one simple, reliable, and easy-to-use application goes a long way.
While many smartphone users have already jettisoned their old alarm clocks from their bedrooms, freeing up valuable nightstand real-estate for their shiny new phones, very few apps have been able to replace the white-noise machines many consumers depend on to be able to fall asleep quickly and easily.
For those who don’t know—the lucky few who fall asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow and wake easily once sunlight peeks in through the curtains—white-noise machines generate soothing sounds, like ocean waves and rainforest noises, to help lull users to sleep. In urban environments where noise pollution, or graveyard shifts, can make it difficult to relax, white noise can help block out city sounds or an over-active mind.
While the App Store carries a few white-noise apps, many of them are poorly designed or lack certain alarm clock features. Smart Alarm Clock comes with 20 built-in audio tracks ranging from ‘Beach and Seagulls’ to the interestingly titled ‘Perfect Girl’, and the alarm works just fine. Users can set tracks to wake up and fall asleep to as well as adjust their volume and duration. You can also import tracks from your own music collection right into the app, which becomes a welcome feature once you’ve listened to the built-in tracks a few too many times. While none of these features are particularly new, it’s nice to have a good white-noise machine and a customizable alarm clock rolled into one smart app.
The next feature I didn’t know I needed is Smart Alarm Clock’s sleep monitor. Calibrate the application’s sensitivity, place your device face down on your bed, and try to sleep without rolling over it. The next morning you’ll have a record of your sleep cycles and a recording of any disturbances in your sleep. At first I was quite wary of rolling over and breaking my device in my sleep, though I’ve fallen asleep with my iPad several times and it’s been okay. My device survived, and now I’ve even gotten used to having it in bed.
The recording function helps users determine a variety of things. You can see if you snore and figure out if any of those snoring remedies actually work when you go to bed. You can also find out if other noises interrupt your sleep without your knowledge. How useful this information can be in the hands of a layperson remains to be seen, but even without a deeper technical knowledge, these features at least provide information that users can share with their doctors.
The alarm can be set to wake you up at a specified time or at the right time in your sleep cycle so that you don’t wake feeling like you slept any more or less than you needed. This is a great feature because sleep experts have determined that when you wake up is as important as how much sleep you get. Wake up in the middle of your REM cycle, and you’ll feel groggy and under-rested, even if you got a full eight hours.
All in all, the Smart Alarm Clock app functions quite well and provides useful information to users who need to track their sleeping patterns and it’s soothing ‘Chill-out’ and ‘Wake-up’ sounds are a great bonus.