Microsoft has developed an unusual method to help you get up in the morning – an alarm that only stops when you successfully play a game.
Alarm clock app Mimicker Alarm gets you out of bed, not with soothing music or your favourite radio station, but with a game.
To stop the alarm you have to play one of three mini games (or Mimics) within a specific time period.
With Colour Capture you take a picture of the suggested colour, with Express Yourself you take a selfie mimicking an emotion and with Tongue Twister you repeat a saying.
Complete the task successfully and the alarm will stop, otherwise it will start ringing again.
The app is part of the Microsoft Garage, a project lab where employees create experimental projects in their free time.
Mimicker Alarm is powered by Microsoft Project Oxford artificial intelligence APIs (application program interfaces): Emotion, Computer Vision and Speech. The code is open source and available to developers to incorporate in their apps.
Alison Light, part of the Garage team, said getting the correct difficulty level was crucial: “The tricky part of the project came when fine tuning the difficulty of each Mimic – how can we make the games hard enough to help you wake up but not too hard to complete?”
“To solve this, we did a lot of testing and woke up with the alarm every morning to make sure each game had the difficulty set perfectly.”
Mimicker Alarm is available to download for free from the Google Play Store. At the time of writing it was only available in the US.
What do you think of the Mimicker Alarm? Would you use it? Let us know in the Comments section below.