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The future smart alarm clock

I have tinkered with some of the various alarm applications for iPhone OS-based devices, but I've always returned to using the built-in Clock thanks to its simplicity and reliability. Reliability is very particularly important, of course. If the third-party alarm app crashes, the alarm won't go off.

iHome, manufacturers of both sublime and ridiculous iPod-centric alarm clocks, has an interesting idea with their forthcoming iA5 alarm clock. It's the first of their "app enhanced" models that more fully integrates an iPhone OS device with the clock.

That is, settings you make using the free Sleep app (iTunes link) apply to the iA5 hardware. This provides a safety net in the event of an application crash, but also allows the entirety of the setup to be much smarter than an average alarm clock. (At least, in theory, I haven't tried the whole thing as the iA5 is not yet shipping.)

One of the more interesting features, or perhaps most ridiculous depending on your perspective, is the built-in ability to post your sleeping or waking habits to Twitter or Facebook. On a more pragmatic note, you can also view statistics about your sleep cycles.

Aside from the particular features, I think this represents a very interesting possibility of tightly coupling iPhone OS devices with other hardware, and the possibility of putting an older, retired device to good use.

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