Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Random time alarm clock

Maybe it's 5am. Maybe it's 11:30pm.
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The random time alarm clock is a normal alarm clock in all respects except it randomly changes time. Most of the uh.. time, the clock is correct, but sometimes it's not. When an alarm is set, the clock will occasionally change itself to a different time - maybe a few minutes difference, or maybe several hours, or maybe it doesn't change at all. But you never know for sure and that's how the clock works.

You set your alarm for the next morning and go to bed as usual. Then you wake up in the night, it's still mostly dark outside and your clock says it's 1:30am. But is it? Maybe it's actually 5:00am. Maybe you've only slept a short time and it's actually 11:30pm. You know your clock might be showing you the wrong time and so this uncertainty can guide how you proceed from that point. If you think it's early, you go back to sleep at ease thinking you have many hours to sleep, even though it's possible you might be awakened in a half-hour. If you think it's late, you sleep lightly awaiting the alarm but perhaps it doesn't go off for hours later.

tatterdemalion, Nov 05 2022


       so: correct alarm time, possibly incorrect displayed time? for more restful sleep through ignorance of the actual time?   

       a similar implementation is setting one's clocks ahead by, say, 5 minutes, then forgetting about it, to try to arrive on time to appointments, and iteratively repeating this process until clocks are set early enough that appointments are kept. a downside is alarming visitors who expect clocks to display pretty much the actual time.   

       Possible "Hitchhiker's Guide" reference to Random, the petulant child who alarmed Arthur Dent by destroying his watch.
sninctown, Nov 05 2022

       I assume that if the clock randomly goes to the time the alarm is set, the alarm will ring, and conversely if, when the alarm is due to ring, it randomly goes to some other time, the alarm will not ring?
pocmloc, Nov 05 2022

       This alarm clock is how my brain works--always alarmed by random exogenous inputs, or simply sparking and going off by itself so that I'm wide awake at, say, 2 AM--hence the need for an alarm clock set to society's baseline 'true' time.   

       Wait--put little feet on this alarm clock, so it can get up and check the windows and doors, and meet me in the kitchen for a mid-night cup of tea.
Sgt Teacup, Nov 06 2022

       [sninctown] the inspiration came from an old digital clock I recently acquired which runs fast, so fast in fact I'd not thought it possible. That clock will easily gain an hour in a week. Noticing this effect and the impact on my sleeping habits gave me this idea.   

       [pocmloc] the alarm always goes off at the selected time.
tatterdemalion, Nov 06 2022

       Given how good most people's body-clocks are (well, mine, anyway...), I think the display would quickly become irrelevant to a persons day-to-day use. It would just be "box that wakes me at waking-up-time".
neutrinos_shadow, Nov 06 2022

       I am reliably informed (by someone who has one) that the alarm function on the FitBit can be set to activate at some arbitrary point in the half-hour prior to its programmed time.
angel, Nov 07 2022

       // Fitbit can be set to activate at some arbitrary point in the half hour prior to the programmed time //   

       Sort of. Per FitBit docs: "Smart wake allows your tracker to find the best time to wake you starting 30 minutes before the alarm time you set. It avoids waking you during deep sleep so you're more likely to wake up feeling refreshed."
a1, Nov 07 2022


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