Alarm Clocks Suck

Crappy Sony Alarm ClockAll current alarm clocks suck. Go look at Amazon and see what I mean. The best appear to be the Sony designs, which look unchanged from mid-90s. Piles of buttons, no auto-setting of time, no modern technology. If you want something built this decade, the best bet is the iHome crap. I’m sure you’ve seen these: the look like they’re designed by a blind man, they only support iPhones and iPods, and still aren’t all that high-tech.

Given the sorry state of alarm clocks, I’ve decided that if I want a good one, I’ll have to build my own. Thankfully, the great wide world of open-source hardware makes that possible.

Here’s what my clock is going to have at a minimum:

  • Dimmable RGB display for menu and time.
  • Display dims according to ambient light.
  • Menu interface controlled by iDrive-like controller.
  • USB-host for iPhone and Android for charging and music playback.
  • Multiple alarms: 1 day / 5 + 2 day / 7 day.
  • Wakeup light.
  • Auto DST based on zone info database.
  • WiFi.
  • Simple on-board website as alternative config.
  • REST interface for integration.
  • Time set automatically via NTP, WWVB or GPS.
  • Arduino compatible.

Now I just need to learn to solder, and be an EE, and re-learn C, and learn to be a ME.

Should be simple.

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