It's time to reinvent the alarm clock by throwing it out entirely. In the 21st century, no one should ever again wake up in the dark, lose sleep to their partner’s early alarm or be jolted by the sudden blare of a buzzer.
We'd like to introduce you to Wakē. Wakē is a smartphone-enabled waking device that lives on your bedroom wall. When it’s time to wake you up, Wakē can find where you are in bed and direct gentle and focused beams of light and sound to your location. These focused beams let your partner continue resting while you wake up peacefully and naturally. We'll be launching on Kickstarter in March of 2015 - add your email address above to stay informed.
Say Goodbye to Snooze
Since Wakē's light and sound experience is directed to you only, there’s no rush to find the “off” or “snooze” buttons to restore tranquility. In fact, we think you’ll find Wakē so peaceful that snoozing becomes obsolete. Just in case though, tapping your phone will snooze Wakē just like a regular alarm clock.
How it Works
When its time to get up, Wakē silently scans the bed with its temperature sensor, producing a simple 2D heat graph that shows the location of you and your partner in bed, while preserving your privacy. This heat signature is then matched to Wakē’s user profile of bedside preferences to determine where to point before queueing its focused light and speaker systems. Wakē’s heat sensor continues to monitor you as you awaken, turning itself off if you get out of bed or relocating you should you roll over.
What Wakē Feels Like
Wakē feels like waking up to your own personal sunrise. By using warm white light to slowly illuminate the area around your face, Wakē slowly rouses you from sleep, helping you wake up naturally and feel alert faster.
Wakē's focused audio beams are made with a parametric speaker – imagine a laser beam of sound playing soothing sound effects that start quietly, that grow louder as the light beam grows brighter.
What is a Parametric Speaker?
It’s an audio device that uses two ultrasonic sound waves (beyond the range of human hearing) that combine to produce an audible wave in an extremely narrow beam. The ultrasonic energy used in this speaker isn’t loud enough to be harmful and is kept far below the recommended maximum sound pressure level (SPL).
Privacy Before all Else
Before we created Wakē, we made ourselves this solemn promise: “No device should ever compromise your privacy in the bedroom — ever.” We took this pledge seriously, which is why Wakē has absolutely no cameras, no microphones or no other sensor that could collect sensitive information about you. Wakē’s ability to sense its environment is limited to an analog photo-resistor that measures light levels and its single-pixel infared sensor. To find your position in bed, Wakē pivots this IR sensor from side to side, producing a single line of temperatures values. This temperature profile is also limited in its resolution, meaning it can’t reveal bodily features.
Wakē is Real Working Hardware
Wakē isn’t hype or a pipedream. We have working prototypes we use to wake up, and it’s awesome. By backing us, you’re backing real working hardware. Our prototypes are made with parts that are ready for mass production and our costs have been scrutinized by experts in electronics and product development.
The Future is Bright with Wakē
While Wakē’s main purpose is to wake you up peacefully and naturally, a whole lot more can be done with future product upgrades. Here are some exciting things we are exploring:
- Private Phone/Text Notification: People who receive late-night calls or texts could use Wakē to limit the disturbance to themselves.
- Personal Reading Light: Wakē provides a neat vantage point for focused illumination.
- Baby Monitor: If it’s Dad’s turn to feed Junior in the middle of the night, no need to wake up Mom too. Using Wakē’s acoustic spot beam, the babies cries can be piped to one parent rather than both. More sleep means happier parents!
- Elderly Safety: Wakē could alert a caregiver in the middle of the night, in the event an elderly user doesn’t return to bed after a certain period of time.
Wakē was first sketched on a napkin over lunch, when founders Will and Taylor wondered why technology had improved nearly every facet of life, but the alarm clock was stuck in the 1800’s. Will wanted desperately to sleep through his wife's 5am alarm, and Taylor hated stumbling out of bed in the pre-dawn darkness.
Why not reinvent the alarm clock by giving it an all new perspective they wondered? By placing the alarm clock above the sleeping user, an individual could be served a customized experience of light and sound while leaving others to continue sleeping.
The team went straight to work designing and building their first working prototypes, and quickly added several additional team members with key talents. When the team began loaning out extra prototypes to friends to use, the feedback they received was sudden and overwhelming - they VASTLY preferred waking up to Wakē over their smartphones and clock radios. Despite the challenges that lay ahead, the team knew Wakē had to be shared with the world.
Our core team has the right mix of engineering education and a proven track record of starting several successful technology companies, and background integrating complex hardware/software products.
Will Russell: As founder and fearless leader behind Lucera Labs, Will’s job is to keep the inspiration going while keeping everything on the rails. Having worked in UAVs, satellites, and space launch vehicles, Will brings an appreciation for the complexity of hardware projects and a healthy paranoia about things that can go wrong. Will studied mechanical engineering at USC, and received his undergraduate degree from the US Naval Academy.
Taylor Mitchell: Taylor is a top notch coder and hardware/software integrator and co-founder of Lucera Labs. [Insert more] Taylor studied Computer Science at Virginia Tech, and has worked in networked space situational awareness sensors and computer simulations for 10 years.
Hal Schmidt: Hal began helping Lucera Labs when it was still in its infancy, but we still tease him like he’s the new guy. Hal got his Master’s degree from MIT in electrical engineering and his undergrad degree at the US Air Force Academy.
Jared Smith: Jared is Lucera Labs chief physicist who helped translate our demanding sound isolation requirements in to working acoustic hardware. His background in aviation, rocket science and GPS guided parachutes.
Why we Need your Support
Before we release Wakē to the world, we need your support to fund the plastic molds, device approvals and large-quantity component buys. We’ve done the grind work of development; now we need you to back us as we bring Wakē to the masses.