Hello World, I’m Awake! Japanese Startup Creates Social Alarm Clock

August 5, 2011

10:01 am

There’s no doubt now that the web has gone social, but f4samurai is taking social to an area that may surprise even the hippest tech watchers: the alarm clock. Founded in January 2010, the Tokyo-based application and game developer launched a free iOS app last month called Alarm Everyone.

“Alarm Everyone […] will enable you to discover the delights of starting the day together with your precious friends,” proclaims its bilingual webpage.

These delights include getting up at the same time as your friends, checking who’s awake, and exchanging messages. For Japanese users, the app also predicts their fortune. If you are more of a grumbling, frazzle-haired, “leave me alone until I’ve had my coffee” type, you can stick to the individual alarm and keep a record of your wake-ups.

Sharing an alarm with others, according to f4samurai, is more than just fun: it helps far-flung families communicate, as well as friends setting off on early-morning trips. Because others can see when you awake, it also creates a measure of accountability—welcome or unwelcome. This I can get behind: my brother is a chronic snoozer, snoring complacently minutes after he claims to be up, and waking him was always a nightmare. But Alarm Everyone’s best feature may be the option to schedule messages to send right when someone gets up, which would be tricky via text message if you don’t know their sleep schedule.

“I came up with the idea to make people happy when they wake up,” explains CTO Hiroki Matsuno.

Though I was skeptical at first, others clearly weren’t: Sleep.fm, launched in 2006, was an iPhone app that let your friends choose your alarm sound or video. Though they claim a registered trademark on the label “social alarm clock,” a similar app out of Japan called WakeUpWorld promotes itself as the “world’s first social video alarm clock.” Another iPhone app, YourRooster, wakes you with voice messages from friends and family, but none of these seem to offer coordinated alarm times.

If the thought of Facebook messages or Twitter mentions gets you out of bed in the morning, Alarm Everyone can help you get your morning sharing fix.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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