“Eh? Who is this, sorry?” I reply groggily.
“It’s Raymond, dude! Your wake up call!” And at this I sit bolt upright, opening my blind and smiling.
I received Raymond’s call through the new app, ‘Wakie’: the social alarm clock with the simple aim to get you up and ready for the day with a phone call from a stranger. The app, which is free and available on iOS, Windows Phone and Android, is not just about connecting people across the globe but also seeks to replace the repetitive drone of your usual alarm. The concept is that waking up through a conversation is much more effective than the common ringtone.
Wakie cofounder and CEO, Hrachik Adjamian explained the idea behind the app to TechCrunch:
“A lot of people keep snoozing alarm clocks and still can’t wake up. Our research shows that a 1 minute talk to a stranger wakes your brain up with a 99 per cent guarantee. When someone asks you questions in the morning your brain has to wake up to answer. Also you try to be kind, you try to turn on your social pattern of behaviour. After the call you can’t sleep anymore, even if you had a short sleep”
Each call lasts for sixty seconds until it is automatically cut off. In addition, numbers are not saved so there is no possibility of repeat calls unless you choose to set another alarm. You can, if you wish however, attempt to find the person you just spoke to through the Wakie community notice board on the home page. The home page also offers you the opportunity to be ‘the waker’, revealing the number of people on the app who need waking up right now. How you choose to wake them up is up to you!
Of course, there is always the risk of an untoward phone call but I am yet to have one and everyone I have spoken to so far has been very pleasant. Raymond, it turns out, is from Los Angeles, California and after we chat for a minute, it is safe to say that I am up and ready to start the day. Granted, I am not quite singing to the birds who have gathered at my window, Cinderella-style just yet, however, as a student with a less than regular sleeping pattern, to be sat up right with my eyes open a full hour before I have to leave the house is a success story in itself.
So, if you are anything like me and you view arriving at university on time for your 9am lecture as a major achievement, then this app might just transform you into a morning person after all.