It's become a bane of our over-teched existence. Yes, it's certainly easy to use an iPhone slapped on a nightstand as a make-do alarm clock. But they're just not designed for it. You'll be plagued with the ding of incoming emails all night, you can't just glance over and peek at the time when you'd like, and good luck finding the touchscreen command for "snooze" with clumsy half-asleep fingers. Jasper Morrison's AC 01 hopes to bring a little dignity back to the indignity of being roused to consciousness with an alarm clock that combines classic details with intelligent features.
Manufactured by the product design company Punkt, which has already tackled a landline phone with the help of Morrison, the AC 01 features a cool aluminum finish and thick "scratch-proof" glass (helpful for any unfortunate lobs of the clock against a wall). The clock's face is the perfect marriage of modern design with a digital aesthetic -- no numbers, yet a slight mid-century styling -- and the L-shape allows it to perch near your bed with unimposing elegance.
The AC 01 manages to incorporate all sorts of "why didn't I think about that" gestural interactions that are quite brilliant. To hit snooze, for example, you simply touch the back of the clock. To illuminate the clock in the middle of the night, you give it a squeeze. Setting the wake-up time doesn't require a ridiculous choreography of button pushing (can you remember the last time you tried to do that in a hotel and fell asleep crossing your fingers that it would work?), instead, you slide a switch on the back of the clock to the time you'd like, and a window on the front confirms that it's on or off.
The one thing that I'm not as keen on is the wake-up sound, which is a little high-pitched and whiny for my taste. But let's face it: Waking up sucks. An alarm clock is supposed to make you want to get out of bed, not comfort you with ringtones. All the more reason why we should leave this important job to the professionals.
[The clock is available in the U.S. through The Conran Shop]