I’ve pulled my share of all-nighters, relying on caffeine to keep me alert, or at least upright. But now there’s a new high tech way to stay awake, thanks to the Spark watch.
Spark looks like a sleek, modern watch, but it’s what’s inside that makes it different. The accelerometer senses movement, and a motion frequency sensor tracks movement over time. Spark feeds all of that information about your movements into an algorithm, which helps it recognize when you are actually asleep, and not just really still. When Spark senses that you’ve fallen asleep, it vibrates to wake you up. Pretty unobtrusive, unless you snort yourself awake. Not that I’ve ever done such a thing.
Related: 7 tips for getting better sleep
I do like that Spark offers an alternative strategy for staying awake during crunch time, or even just a regular Monday morning 8 o’clock class. You can adjust the strength of the vibration so that it doesn’t knock you out of your seat, or turn off Spark mode entirely. Like when you actually want to sleep. And the early-bird Kickstarter pledge for Spark is extremely reasonable — as low as $39. That’s less than two weeks of lattés.
The creator of Spark was inspired by his older brother’s story of falling asleep in an important high school exam. While I applaud his ingenuity, I also kind of want to tuck him in for a long winter’s nap. Too many kids just aren’t getting enough rest, and a cool watch isn’t a good long-term solution.
Then again, I’ve had to log some crazy hours at work over the years, long after I finished college, and I know plenty of colleagues who’ve done the same. Spark could be a smart, caffeine-free way to stay awake on those rare occasions when we’ve got to burn the candle at both ends.
Check out the Spark watch Kickstarter page to learn more about the watch that keeps you awake.