Connected Alarm Clock

Another idea I thought that was spurred by the talk of how a cellphone might be used as a ‘thing.’

How about a connected Alarm Clock?  It would behave just like a standard Alarm Clock would, except with a few additions: First, it would pull time from the internet.  This means if you lost power it should be able to reset itself automatically.  It would also update day light saving starts and stops automatically as well.

Next, the alarm would trigger more than just an audible alarm when it went off.  It would also trigger a SmartEvent in the cloud.  It might turn on your bedroom light to help wake you up.  It might turn on the coffee maker.  It might even be set to trigger some events early.  For instance, if you program your alarm for 7:00 it’ll turn on the furnace to warm up the house 20 minutes earlier and start that coffee maker 15 minutes earlier so you can have your first cup right away.  But tomorrow you have an early meeting and need to get up at 6:30.  No problem, change your alarm time and your furnace still start 20 minutes before your alarm time, and your coffee 15 minutes before your alarm time.  No need to reset those.  Just changing the alarm time on your clock adjusts the time for all the triggers in your “good morning” SmartEvent.

Finally, the alarm can be triggered from the SmartApp too.  For instance, in the middle of the night if the open/close sensor on a window suddenly opens, it’ll sound your alarm clock.  If a connected smoke detector goes off, it’ll trigger your alarm clock too.


I like this idea a lot.

I like the idea of the “alarm” that triggers other things… I believe the smart things app should be able to do some of that out of the gate…

They have mentioned being able to program your lights etc to go on and off at certain times etc - to help fake that you are at home. etc.

It would only make sense to have the capabilities to setup in the app a “Morning Routine” app - simply set each night what time you want the “Morning Routine” app to be run by SmartThings. Morning app kicks in it’s script - starts furnace - starts coffee maker… etc. (And no need for a separate item to purchase.)

Yeah, I think you’re 100% correct there Eric.  I would expect something like that ability right out of the box.

The benefit of the connected Alarm clock to said routine would be the ability to adjust when that routine triggers from the clock, rather than from a smartphone or computer.  It’s a minor thing, but as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I want the ability to blend low tech and high tech whenever possible.  My wife doesn’t have a smartphone and has no desire to get one, so when I think about these things I think about ways that she interface with with things easily and that my desire to connect them doesn’t interfere with her ability use things outside of SmartThings.

In the case of the Alarm, if she suddenly remember… oh, I need to get up 30 minutes earlier than before, being able to change that on the alarm clock, and have all the other morning triggers adjust accordingly, makes a lot of sense.  She isn’t going, right before climbing into bed, go downstairs, boot up the computer, log into SmartThings, adjust the timers, shut down the computer, then go back upstairs to bed.  Likewise, she also has to remember to get on the computer tomorrow at some point to reset everything back to the “normal” time.

A connected Alarm clock that can do this based on when you set the alarm for makes it super easy and re-uses a method of setting the clock that virtually EVERYONE is already familiar with.  Easy, handy, and zero-learning curve after the Event is setup.

Beyond that I’m really think it integrates well in terms of home safety… being able to sound if a designated open/close sesnor triggers during a designated time, or if a smoke or carbon monoxide detector goes off.

Yeah - that’s a really good point for a separate alarm device actually… those strange non-smartphone people! Or people who don’t want their phones on their bedside table.

As for a security alarm - absolutely - I’m hoping that there will be a way to “Arm System” when I’m ready for bed… if my daughter’s (or soon to be second daughter’s) window opens, any of our doors, etc… that I can make my phone freak out and wake me up. :) In iOS 6 this should work out of the box by simply creating a condition for the open/closed sensor to notify you when it’s opened - I can setup a do not disturb list on my iphone - so only certain contacts can call me at night etc and it’ll ring through while I’m trying to get my beauty sleep. I can add the “smart things” text - whatever that might be to the “allow” list - and make the text noise for that contact an alarm noise that will hopefully wake me up! (I believe I recall currently that the notifications currently run though a text notification - rather than just a push notification.) Hope that makes sense. (I don’t have time to proof read as I’m trying to leave for home from work!)

Hehe - here’s an alternative take - if the wife hasn’t taken to the smartphone interface, bypass it and move on to the next thing coming down the pike…

UBI…set tomorrow’s alarm for 05:30” or “UBI…set tomorrows alarm an hour earlier”…

Oh the possibilities…(my alarm clock is my Sonos system - wake up to music streamed off my server then the local news broadcast streamed over the net. The Sonos system uses NTP to keep time, understands timezones and daylight savings and I’ve set separate alarm schedules for weekdays vs. weekends). The next trick will be integrating SmartThings and UBI with Sonos…

UBI…play some Mozart on the balcony”…


I really considered supporting UBI, and may end up regretting it later.  My concern is with the level of voice commands presently.  Apple Siri commercials aside, I don’t think we’re quite the voice recognition, or perhaps, natural language syntax level that would be needed to make UBI practical.

For instance, I don’t think you could say: “UBI, change tomorrow’s alarm to 6:30.”   I think the command structure would need to be set much more rigidly…  Plus that assumes that it can understand the voice properly as well.  Something else that isn’t quite there.

That said, I hope UBI proves me wrong.  I hope I end up regretting not supporting UBI.

The better Idea is not to call this topic “Connected Alarm Clock”, but “Cellphone as a smart thing”.

Another way to use a cellphone as smart tag: to make the system aware about position of a person.

I disagree Dmitry.  Don’t get me wrong, I think having the cellphone as a SmartThing rather than just an interface to the SmartApp makes a lot of sense.  But I think that’s a item separate from the Alarm Clock idea.

The point of the connected Alarm clock would be a way to interact with the SmartApp cloud without using a computer or cellphone.  Just by changing the alarm time it would automatically adjust events that are tied to it.  For instance, I tell me furnace to kick on 20 minutes before my alarm goes off.  I tell my bedroom lights to turn on at the same time as the alarm clock.  I tell my coffee maker to turn on 10 minutes after my alarm clock so the coffee is ready after shave and a shower.

Now, no matter if I set my alarm for 7:00, or 6:30 the next day or 8:30 on a Saturday… all those other conditions (furnace, lights, coffee maker) automatically adjust accordingly.  Again, I think the real power of SmartThings will come in making it as easy to interface with the system as possible.  Yeah, many people have SmartPhones, but not everyone.  As I mentioned, my wife doesn’t and doesn’t want one.  If I try to run a “morning” event like this based on setting a time online and adjusting there as needed, she won’t have access to it short of our computer.  And she won’t use it.  Now, I’m home 90% of the time, so no biggie, I can do it.   But when I’m away, she will NOT be happy to have to deal with adjusting something online.

But if the “morning” event is controlled through our alarm clock… something that’s already there in our bedroom, something that she already knows how to use… something that’s no more complicated than setting the alarm time.  Well, then there will be buy in from the less tech-savvy, less technophile members of the family.

(On a side note, this is why SmartButtons/Switches are so important to me too.  I love the idea of connecting my lights… especially in the kids rooms or basement that are often left on no matter how many times you tell the little rugrats to turn 'em off when they leave.  If I can turn them off remotely, GREAT!  But if they can’t be turned on/off locally as well, that doesn’t help me.)

That is only an idea. It is not replacing your idea.


I was wondering if anyone has found any iPhone alarm apps that have this feature? I see some apps that are now connected to Hue, but all my lights are directly controlled by ST.