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Motion Detector Snooze Button

Motion-Detecting Snooze button on Alarm Clock
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One of the annoyances of waking up in the morning is my inability to properly hit the snooze button on my clock radio. Sometimes I hit the wrong button and turn off the alarm altogether, sometimes I swat my eyeglasses and send them to the floor, but usually I just punch and scrape the general area until the hit the snooze button.

What would be nice is if, instead of physically pressing a button for the snooze mode, I could simply wave my hand over the clock, science-fiction-movie style, to get the snooze.

The sensor would be pointing up, not sideways, so that rolling around in bed wouldn't activate it... you would actually have to get your hand in the area above the clock, give or take a foot.

Motion sensing technology is obviously available, so I don't see any great hindrance to developing such a thing.

AntiQuark, Jan 26 2002

Braun Reflex alarm clock (1988) http://www.ciao.de/...lex_Control__977371
(Thanks, neelandan.) Wave hand for snooze. [jutta, Feb 01 2002, last modified Jul 02 2009]


       This sounds fantastic … How's it going to work?
reensure, Jan 26 2002

       it works using a motion detector monitoring things like my dog's tail swishing about as he sits on my chest, fetid breath 3" from my mouth and panting heavily in my ear, to alarm me to his need to go out into the garden; who needs alarm clocks?
po, Jan 26 2002

       reensure: From what I understand, a motion detector is a fairly simple circuit that uses the same IR LEDs that you would find in a TV remote control.
AntiQuark, Jan 27 2002

       I would like the alarm to be able to be set with an urgency value. You could, on the eve before waking, set a value . . . how important is it that I wake up? . . . this value would control how furiously you would have to wave your arms to get the clock to snooze. In extreme cases (urgency = 10, or whatever) you would have to do calisthentics for 10 minutes to get snooze to set.
bristolz, Jan 27 2002

       who said: Windmill? was it Rods?
po, Jan 27 2002

       [AntiQuark], most of the motion detectors I have seen use ultrasound instead of infrared. In either case, the basic principle is the same. The field of 'view' is flooded with high frequency sound waves or infrared light, depending on which flavor of motion detector is in use. All the objects in the field of view reflect some fraction of the sound/light back to a microphone/phototransistor which creates an electrical current proportional to the total intensity of the reflection. The level of the electrical current is monitored for rapid changes which indicate motion in the field of view. This only works if the reflectivity of the background objects varies spatially at a resolution comparable to the dimensions of the anticipated moving object.   

       For a snooze button, this technology would work just fine. Just make sure you don't inadvertently block the motion sensor with an opaque object during the night. That would render the sensor blind.   

       The cost would be about 10-15 US dollars above the price of more traditional snooze buttons. This makes mass consumer marketing economically impossible. (Mass market consumer electronics sink and swim on fractions of a penny per unit.) However, this might work as a specialty market product through Sharper Image or similar stores.
BigBrother, Jan 28 2002

       [BigBrother]: "This makes mass consumer marketing economically impossible"
How can I put this? I think the word is spheroidal appendages, BigBrother (Yes that's two words but you know what I mean).
Fact 1:First of all $10 for a motion sensor may be the right amount, but I suspect it's a bit less than this. I just bought a motioin sensing outdorr security light for £12, so I don't think the motion sensor bit could be much more than £5.
Fact 2: My alarm clock radio (Sony) cost me £50.

       Are you telling me that someone wouldn't pay £55 rather than £50 to get a wixzzy gadget? Just go into the Sharper Image and look at the crap people will fork out for just because it has a wizzy gadget. Economically Impossible? I don't think so...
goff, Jan 28 2002

       [neelandan pointed out that the "Braun reflex" alarm clock matches this description very well. I remember this being available while I was in an alarm-clock buying age. See link for photograph.]
jutta, Jan 31 2002

       Ultrasound is most appropriate for range finding (ie figuring distance) in the several to several tens of feet. The motion detecting lights use heat detection with pyroelectric circuits (or something close to that IIRC) which also are good for long range. A third technique which might be best suited for this application is IR proximity detection -- which AntiQuark illuded to. This uses a emitter/detector pair. The emmitter blinks a 40kHz (or something like that) and the detector signal is compared. This circuit is very commonly used in home robotics and manufacturing industry (is product on conveyor belt?). They cost only a few dollars in their simplest form. I've wanted to build a better alarm clock for 15 years -- this would definately have to be an ingredient...
bjt, Jan 31 2002

       *grin to ¯po*
Suggested improvement: randomize the response of the sensor so that it either silences the alarm for a few minutes of snooze, or, kicks the alarm volume up double loud for a few minutes. Repeat, of course.
reensure, Jan 31 2002

       The point is; an alarm clock is made to wake you up, and this idea doesn't make getting up easier at all. I need to do some effort so I'll be really woken up by my alarm. If you make it to easy, just waving your hand, you'll never really wake up and continue waving at your alarm till it's to late.
BartJan, Jan 31 2002

       I think this alarm clock with motion sensor by Brookstone is a better bet than the Braun Reflex one.   

       When you wave your arm near the clock, it will light the clock up or activate snooze or both. All for $24.99 it was $35.00 - a saving of er, more than a dollar.   

       Also it's battery operated, which means you can take it anywhere - to the beach, shops, school.........even to the moon!!
Umbrellafella, Jul 31 2005

       Have you seen those Mathmos lamps that alter their brightness depending on how far your hand is above them?   

       The distance your hand is above your alarm clock could correspond to the amount of snooze time you have.
pooduck, Jul 31 2005

       *random serious moment* I have a bad history with the snooze button, so I put the alarm on a far away shelf, so I have to get up and walk to turn it off. If I had this motion detector, I would fall asleep on the way across the room.
moPuddin, Jul 31 2005


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