Monday, 29 March 2010


THANK YOU for offering to help me develop and continue my final year project! I will only request that you email your comments to me at

This blog has been specially made to present to you what my project is and why. My interests lie in craft and technology and have so merged the two in my product. I feel my concept could become commercial but currently and for the purpose of my final year project it has taken bespoke route.

I am looking for comments that explain the value of sleep and how, if any, does my product help, improve or enhance this.

A Summary

My project enhances our waking experience by also improving our sleep rhythm. My design reflects that seep is natural and uses a woodpecker theme to translate this.

To improve sleep rhythm, the user will hear 2 alarms each day. One morning alarm and one evening alarm. The evening alarm is based on one of the pre-set alarm times the user wants to wake at and once selected it is programmed to signal 9 hours earlier. This indicates when to begin their night time ritual and to start thinking about going to bed. This will increase their sleep duration from under 7 hours to 8 hours.

The signal is mechanically produced by using a solenoid and is programmed to sound like a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker to create a new waking experience. The user can play and experiment with the sound produced by placing it against different materials e.g. a door, radiator, a glass vase etc. This manipulates the sound created and does not restrict the device to a bed side table.

Sleeping is natural. Waking on demand is not. By maintaining a regular sleeping pattern, we can begin to wake ourselves up and only be aided with the use of this alarm clock.

Getting started

From my 100 ideas, i chose these two ideas to take forward:

I spoke to a range of people who gave me comments and completed cultural probes on what they liked and disliked about their sleep routine. From this it became apparent that no one liked their alarm signal or in fact their waking experience.


This video shows my alarm clock's electronic workings:


I made changes to a generic alarm clock to meet the feedback I received from my users.

I replaced a recorded alarm signal with the mechanical component and programmed it to imitate a woodpecker. In my video, the box it is placed against is to emulate a wardrobe.

To maintain a sleep pattern and ensure that the user receives at least 8 hours of sleep a night, I limited the times the user is able to get up at. In the video, the time selected was 6am. These times could be tailored to my user's requirements.

You also might have noticed that time is not being displayed. There is an internal clock that will keep time through radio transmission. I am communicating to my users that this is not a clock but a device to help you receive 8 hours of sleep a night. The 'time dial' is being made to look like an analogue clock face so at a distance it might look like a clock.

I later introduced a 'test' switch for the user to have confidence in their placement and the device and to make sure they can hear it.

The model in progress

(almost finished)

the front

the side

the back

My aim with the aesthetics is to translate my concept yet remain familiar and new with the user.

I kept the 'signal off' button on the top, like many alarm clocks and emphasized it's presence by cutting a slant.

The toggle switches shows were the on/off is and were the test switch is.

The time dial is inserted in the front and the solenoid is directly behind. The back is flat and contains a hole for the solenoid. The use of the flat edge will communicate that a flat surface is required for the solenoid to 'peck'.

more information documenting my process is on my PLAY to MAKE blog.