This article was written by our very own Mysticgeek, a big fan of Sleep.FM.
Who likes waking up to an annoying loud buzzer every morning? Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up to a cool and calm message telling you how the weather is, that your flight is delayed, or the meeting was canceled so you can just stay in bed?
Well, this is the vision of the developers of Sleep.FM the social alarm clock. You might be cautious about using an online alarm because your Internet connection might be disconnected for some reason. Well, the cool thing is Sleep.FM will work offline as well by playing the day & date alarm which is loaded into the browser. You just need to access the page online and leave the page up. You can even set or change alarms while offline!
Note: if all you want is a loud alarm clock, check out our previous mention of web application Kuku Klok.
Currently Sleep.FM is in beta where a bunch of features are being tested and worked out. You can use it right now though with some of the basic features such as learning the time, date, current weather.
The alarm information will continue to loop until you shut it off. This is good because my PC is across the room from me so I actually have to get up and out of bed to turn it off. No hitting snooze for 20 minutes!
Check out this video to get an idea of an instance where sleep.fm would come in handy! Note: due to technical weirdness, the image is a link to Youtube.
Interview With Sleep.FM
We had the opportunity to speak with Ryan Spahn the CEO of Sleep.FM about their website.
Mysticgeek: Let’s start with your position or title at Sleep.FM and how long have you been working with it?
I am the founder/web designer and along with Muthu (web developer) and Susannah (voice), we have been working part-time on the site since Nov. 2006. Though, this past summer. I began working full-time on the project, as Sleep.FM was fortunate to be selected as a DreamIt Venture’s company. DreamIt is a Philadelphia technology incubator that provides business guidance and resources to select companies.
Mysticgeek: What kind of background do you have preceding the launch of Sleep.FM?
I graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in the Recording Industry: concentration Music Business. Out of college I worked in said industry and then moved onto sales positions at telecommunication firms. I had no coding or software background so my ideas remained ideas for a long while. Though in 2006 I was inspired by the stories of the founders of YouTube and Digg to finally learn a new skill (web design) and start one of my ideas. I hired Muthu from a rent a coder site to do the web development.
Mysticgeek: What is your vision for Sleep.FM? What do you see it as now and how would you like to see it in future years?
The big vision would be for Sleep.FM and it’s concept to become the clear/useful reason why millions across the world use an Internet alarm clock over what is used today! If your plane, school, exam, meeting, event is canceled or delayed wake up to this information and go back to sleep! Wake up to information like weather or traffic to better prepare for your day! Wake up to birthday and other well wishes! Also, as Internet protocols get smarter (IPv6), Sleep.FM will be able to wake and warn you of a life-threatening situation (i.e. 100% chance of a tornado). Sleep.FM in its current state offers the ability to wake up to a natural voice speaking the day/date, time and your current weather conditions. As development continues we will be adding the aforementioned features and more! In future years Sleep.FM users will be waking up better informed/safer through devices that fits their lifestyle (iPhone, Chumby, digital picture frames & LCD TVs).
Mysticgeek: I love the woman’s voice that wakes me up and tells me weather, time, date, and other information. Are there any plans for other voice types?
Yes, we are currently working on that option. Also, Susannah thanks you for the kind words about her voice-over!
Mysticgeek: What type of user customizations do you have planned? Custom sounds, messages, or MP3’s?
We are reviewing the ability to allow users to mix their favorite MP3s with Sleep.FM’s voice.
Mysticgeek: Is there anything else you would like to add or explain to our readers?
Yes. For those who have ideas and always wanted to make those ideas a reality, I encourage you to start-up! It’s a great journey! Also, we love hearing your feedback! Please reach out/follow us on Twitter & or use the feedback tab on the site!
Mysticgeek: Thank you very much for your time in answering our questions!
Sleep.FM would like to thank HowToGeek for this opportunity
Programmer by day, geek by night, The Geek, also known as Lowell Heddings, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 02/13/09