Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Crust or bust.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Braille Alarm Clock

A less invasive way to see how much longer you can sleep.
  [vote for,

My alarm clock at home has bright red numbers that are almost like a beam of sunlight when my room is pitch black at 5am, so I wanted a way to see what time it was without opening my eyes, and listening to a radio announcer isn't much of a help becuase there are mostly ads at that hour. Right next to the snooze button, I want to put a plastic grid with holes in it above every number and to indicate am/pm, and every minute, small bits of plastic would fill certain holes indicating the time. This would work by using a really quiet mechanism that moved the plastic bumps just enough so that they were raised like braille letters/numbers. This feature would be turned off if you were setting the time or the alarm time because that would be annoying to have to wait for the alarm to catch up with you. Everything else would function the same on the alarm clock.
thedoubler2, Oct 07 2004

(??) My alarm http://www.walgreen...00408&id=prod395031
This is my alarm clock [thedoubler2, Oct 07 2004]

(??) Tactile Pin Clock http://www.maxiaids...store=0&idCategory=
This is a little bit similar. Not silent though. [phlogiston, Oct 07 2004]

(?) Braille Alarm Clock http://www.learnmor...ew.asp?idproduct=17
Just one of many, but not functioning like the one in the idea. [oneoffdave, Oct 07 2004]

Quick lesson in braille http://www.louisbra...raille/alphaNum.htm
might as well just learn the real braille, may be useful one day [dentworth, Oct 07 2004]

Asulab Vibrato Watch http://www.asulab.ch/EN/montres_en.htm
Communicates the time as a series of vibrations. Clever. [bristolz, Oct 19 2004]


       s/Braille/Tactile/, ok? (There already are braille alarm clocks.)   

       Do it with number of bumps (1 bump per hour?) rather than raised letters.   

       Imagine primary colors and a rubber skin above the moving parts. This could look really outlandish, like a cross between a mathmos and an abstract dinosaur.   

       Method for raising and lowering of bumps: (a) plugs that are pushed out by electronmagnets; (b) rotating egg-shaped slices that are pointy on one side, flat on the other.
jutta, Oct 07 2004

       I see what you're saying, like 8 bumps for 8 o'clock. I never knew there were braille alarm clocks though :-)
thedoubler2, Oct 07 2004

       Ferrofluid contained within a matrix of addressable soft tubule chambers covered with a thin membrane. When the ferrofluid in a given chamber receives a charge it "hardens" rendering it readable as a bump.
bristolz, Oct 07 2004

       I know what you mean. After I check the time in the dark (usually to gauge how long I've not been able to sleep for), I can still see those evil red numbers long after I've shut my eyes.
spiritualized, Oct 10 2004

       Why I love the basic idea of a Braille alarm clock for the masses, and have duly awarded this my croissant, surely this is a workaround, and not the right solution for your actual problem.   

       If digital alarm clocks are too bright by night (and they generally are), then they should have a "lights off" setting, whereby the display is off most of the time, but lights up for a few seconds on demand (say pressing a button, nearby motion, or noise).
DrCurry, Oct 10 2004

       I do believe a lot of digital alarm clocks have a brightness setting, which would solve my problem of being blinded by the display in the middle of the night. It's just buying one that's the tricky part (I can't be bothered).
spiritualized, Oct 11 2004

       Email to bakesperson, posted with permission:   


       "I found your site while looking up the word "teasmade" for a friend and was "alarmed" (if you'll excuse the pun) to read about the comments relating to Braille alarm clocks.   

       "I would just like to point out that accessible alarm clocks, while available to those of us who can use no other, are also available for anyone to buy. Just use your search engine, as I did.   

       "For the record, most blind people prefer talking alarm clocks these days, which are also available to anyone. There are even alarm clocks for people who are deaf-blind. They have a pad which sits under one's pillow and vibrates at the appropriate time.   

       "If a too-bright digital clock is all you're worried about, try being us for a day in a society which shuts out anyone who does not readily "fit in". Things like Braille alarm clocks actually exist, and they make people's lives easier.   

       "While satire is always welcome, ignorant, ill-informed comments like that one do not enhance the learning of the human race one iota. They only create more barriers for those of us who are sight-impaired, and remind us of how far we have to go to achieve our goal of being treated as equals.   

       Kylee Maloney
broadcaster, Writer

       "PS: Braille can be use to surf the net, but I'm using a talking screen reader."
jutta, Mar 03 2005

       wider availability of Braille alarm clocks would also serve as a reminder of the problems created by a society which disables people by thoughtless design. Braille for all.
neilp, Mar 03 2005

       I have an alarm clock that runs on batteries and the backlight only comes on when you touch it (not by pressing a button, it's touch sensitive) however the backlight is VERY bright, to the point where it hurts your eyes if you turn it on in near-pitch darkness. also, another thing is that when the batteries are low on mine, the backlight becomes perpetually stuck on (weird) and the alarm doesn't actually go off at the right time- it instead beeps for a few seconds every 4 minutes and won't stop until you shut off the alarm or it runs out of batteries. It runs out in less than 2 months- it's definatly too bright.
Dickcheney6, Jul 12 2008

       I like that idea, reminds me of an alarm clock I had as a child that had THE MOST OBNOXIOUS buzzing sound just while it was on, and the alarm sounded like a fucking bomb siren. Never failed to scare the shit out of me when I woke up.   

       Anyways, [+] I'd own one.
Jerk, Jul 15 2008


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle