It seems like the market for alarm clocks and smart wake-you-up gadgets is getting more competitive than cell phones, MP3 players, and autos. But here's a new entry worth noting for those who already tried starting the day with the obnoxious Clocky, the Shocking Alarm Clock, the Philips Wake-Up Light, or even the Wake n' Bacon.
It's called Zeo, and it's a "personal sleep coach" that can give you data on the quantity, quality, and depth of your slumber. The product is being released now by Newton, Mass.-based Zeo, formerly known as Axon Labs, a Rhode Island start-up.
When the gadget first captured our attention in 2005, it was called SleepSmart and was essentially one of those devices that would make awakening less startling by choosing a moment when you are already sleeping lightly, like Sleeptracker or aXbo do.
Zeo is based on a headband that tracks your sleep patterns via a sensor that monitors electrical signals from your brain.
But the people at Axon probably realized how cruel the alarm clock market is and turned it into a lifestyle product by adding a whole sleep clinic concept, somewhat akin to the Snoremonitor for iPhone.
The headband transmits data wirelessly to a bedside display, where it's stored on an SD card.
The sleep information can then be uploaded to the "myZeo Personal Coaching" Web site, where the beauty begins with concepts such as a personal sleep score or "ZQ;" information on the "7 Sleep Stealers;" and a full "7 Step Sleep Fitness Program." The site notes that sleeplessness "is now the third biggest health complaint in the world after headache and cold, and there are currently over 80 known kinds of chronic sleep disorders."
We admit that this sleep fitness concept attracts the lazy part of us more than a gadget that forces us to head to the gym. Maybe that's just what could make Zeo survive in the wild, wild jungle of alarm clocks.