The tech giant that helped put a computer in countless homes around the world has a new take on an old classic. According to a report form PC Magazine, Microsoft’s new Mimicker alarm app can help even the heaviest sleepers wake up in the morning.
The alarm clock has undergone its fair share of evolution as it has become incorporated into one of the many tasks a smart phone can carry out over the past decade, and there have been a wide range of new ideas to help people get out of bed.
Some apps use a phone’s motion sensitivity to track your movement as you sleep and wake you up when you’re sleeping the lightest, and require that you solve a math problem or word puzzle before the alarm can be shut off. Microsoft’s new app mimics the latter, but takes your early-morning engagement with your alarm clock to an entirely new level.
Mimicker asks you to complete challenges before it will allow you to shut off the alarm. For example, the app may ask you to make a certain type of face into your phone’s camera. It won’t shut off if your face isn’t just right, so you actually have to focus to make it work.
The app can also ask you to repeat a phrase, get out of bed, or complete a small game. If you don’t finish the task in time, the app will assume that you have fallen back asleep and will continue to ring.
It incorporates numerous Project Oxford APIs that enable face detection, speech recognition, and even emotion recognition. Microsoft has made all of the code for Mimic available to developers to see on Github. The company encourages developers to make tweaks and suggestions that could improve the app over time.
The app also keeps records of how fast it takes you to shut off your alarm and connects with other users, so you can see who has the easiest time hopping out of bed.
Information about Microsoft’s Mimicker app can be found here.