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Bidirectionally Settable Alarm Clock

"Dang, just skipped past it again..."
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Many basic digital clocks are set by simultaneously pressing the "set" or "alarm" buttons along with the "hour" or "minute" buttons to advance the corresponding value by one unit, or by holding them to advance it repeatedly. This is quite a hassle if you are trying to set your clock to, say, 6:57—to the point where I find myself contemplating just waiting three minutes and setting it to 7:00 instead. And, of course, if you accidentally skip past the time you intended, you get to press the button another 23 or 59 times (since holding it down always seems to cause it to advance at a snail's pace), and be more careful not to blow it on the next try.

The solution to this common annoyance is to have the direction the clock advances depend on the order you press the buttons. So, pressing "alarm" and then "minute" will add a minute to the alarm time, but pressing "minute" and then "alarm" will subtract a minute (and if you hold them down, continue to subtract time). This solution is particularly elegant in that it requires no exterior design changes to the clock, and since most people press the "set" or "alarm" button first anyway, it won't surprise anyone who doesn't know about the feature.

ytk, Sep 02 2011

kinda half-baked backward_20alarm_20clocks
[po, Sep 02 2011]

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       I have one of those that I use daily as an alarm clock, and while it works as you describe, it's expensive and complicated to use compared to a simple alarm clock. It's also not a perfect solution, as it's actually much more of a pain to set the alarm to a significantly different time since the clock can only be advanced a minute in either direction (at least on mine). So if the alarm is set for 7AM, and you decide you want to take a nap and wake up at 3PM, you have to sit there holding down the button for quite a long time.   

       Anyway, the point of this idea is a function that can be cheaply and easily added to the design of most existing alarm clocks to make them much more convenient to use, without complicating them unnecessarily for people who don't know about or prefer not to use the additional feature. The Dream Machine doesn't resemble most common alarm clocks in terms of interface, so it's not really comparable. You might as well say "this problem has been solved by simply hiring a valet to read you the current time whenever you signal him by belching Yankee Doodle".
ytk, Sep 02 2011
  

       I had an Emerson alarm clock back in the tape player days that had a 'fast / slow' forward / reverse buttons to do precisely this. Not 'hour / minute,' but would simply scroll through either direction.
RayfordSteele, Sep 02 2011
  
      
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