These days, it seems that an alarm clock can't just make a noise at a given time in order to wake us up: We sleep too deeply, and in too-comfortable beds, and with too much NyQuil coursing through our veins to just pop right up and into our slacks when we hear a set of chimes.
A new app for Android called "Sleep If U Can" (not to be confused with a similarly-named Britney Spears song) addresses this modern conundrum in a creative way: It's an alarm clock that will not stop ringing until you are physically out of bed, at a location in your home, taking a photo of a given item. It's like a scavenger hunt you have to complete to silence your alarm every morning; at the end of hunt, you're out of your bed and (hopefully) wide awake.
Here's how it works: When you first download the app, Sleep If U Can asks you to photograph a bunch of different locations or items in your home (locations or items, it is important to note, that are not so close to your bed that you can just roll over, snap a pic, and then collapse back onto your drool pillow). Then, each time your alarm goes off afterwards, Sleep If U Can shows you a different photograph: Your alarm will keep sounding until you maneuver your sleepy carcass to that spot and take an identical picture with your smartphone's camera. Once the app detects a photographic match, the shrill, dastardly alarm will cease, at which point you should be awake.
(WARNING: If you are living in a small apartment or dorm with roommates, this app will make them hate you).
You can watch the Sleep If U Can alarm app in action in this promotional video:
The makers of Sleep If U Can -- a company called Delight Room -- are hardly the first to innovate around the persistent problem of American Over-Snoozing. Indeed, we've profiled plenty of inventive alarm clocks in the past, including one that you have to shake really hard, an alarm clock on wheels that you have to chase around the room to shut off, and the Ramos Clock, the so-called "World's Most Annoying Alarm Clock" that also forces sleepyheads to physically remove themselves from the bed before stopping. Innovative alarm clocks, in fact, are somewhat of a mini-industry: It seems like every day we hear about a newer, crazier, more obnoxious waker-upper.
Add "Sleep If U Can" to that list.
You can try it out for free on your Android device by downloading it from the Google Play Store right here.