“The way we see it, waking with a standard alarm is pretty sadistic. The loud, disembodied sounds they engender create an environment of chaos and panic, driving us from a state of tranquility and rest into one of fright and confusion. Though we must admit that they’re functionally effective, sadly they’re also very traumatic--and any form of trauma has a way of negatively affecting our mood.”
That’s Michael Kritzer, who with designers from Habitco, wants to change the way we wake up every morning (an idea we ourselves have been a bit obsessed with as of late). Their Kickstarter solution is to take what most of us are using for an alarm these days--our iPhones--and packaging it in a manner far too adorable to ever be bummed about waking up. They’ve made the iPhone into a piece of toast, and an alarm clock into a toaster. And who doesn’t love toast?
The Day Maker works much like you’d expect. You set the alarm on your iPhone (the standard one or Day Maker’s own app), set the phone inside, and push down. The iPhone docks, and it also invisibly syncs with the toaster itself, so when your alarm goes off in the morning, it’ll pop up like a piece of golden brown bread (except that it’s smudgy glass that you should never, ever put in your mouth). To snooze, just push the toast back in the slot.
As simple as the device appears, the fact that the dock has a series of mechanical components means it’s more expensive to produce than a lot of typical Kickstarter projects.
“Creating new mechanically driven goods is expensive and complicated, especially on the front end, and that’s why I don’t think you see many people trying to do it lately, which is a shame,” writes Kritzer. “We have an assortment of moving pieces on the inside that require their own molds as well, which gets expensive--like the elevator platforms that raise and lower the iDevices, the silos (slots) they fit in, the spring loaded / oil dampened gearing to ensure the right bounce velocity when the alarm goes off, their tracks, the components for the clock, internal mounts for the solenoid, other electronics, etc.”
All of these mechanical components also mean that the design will need to be customizable to iPhones of the past and the future, and Windows and Android phones are out--their dock connections are too unpredictable to design and manufacture effectively.
It really makes me wonder: How many of Kickstarter’s successful campaigns are really just focused on iOS accessories? With Apple bringing handset diversity down, they’ve broadened the market for accessories. And that broadened market fuels two important components that make Kickstarter work: one-size-fits-all designing and a large enough user base to have sub-cohorts to appreciate quirky, one-off goods.
Android may have a boat-rocking install base, but there’s a reason we’re not seeing toaster alarms in the Samsung-Galaxy-S-II-Skyrocket space. (Yes, that’s the name of a real phone on the market today.)