The big problem with waking up in the morning is the sound. All that bleeping and chirping and clanging. Why should everyone in the neighborhood be woken up just because you’ve got to start the day at 5am? Now there’s a way to wake yourself up silently with just a vibration. We check it out.
The iLuv Smart Shaker product comes in a nicely colorful package, complete with pretty pictures of slumbering folk and trendy phones. Inside the box there’s a small but serviceable user manual and a microUSB charger cable. Pretty normal for this type of price point device. Our video below shows what it’s like in action.
The unit is pretty slimline and features the minimum of controls. So you’re got on/off, a longish snooze button and the recharge microUSB slot. It’s all you need really, since it’s just a vibrating puck. Speaking of which, we wonder whether they deliberately made it look like an Oreo cookie?
All the hard work gets done by the app, of course, because once you’ve paired the puck/cookie up with your phone that’s where you do all the setting up of alarms and alarm ringtones etc. And this is where we start to have a few issues with the product.
For one thing, the user interface is not the best. It’s confusing because the slide areas are not clearly defined, and the methods are a little inconsistent. We found ourselves sliding in places where you can’t and pushing also in areas which didn’t work. It’s doesn’t help that the blue color scheme hurts the eyeballs a little.
Apart from that, there’s no easy way to set the alarm apart from a complicated routine with different screens. We’ve been spoilt with Timely, which is a simple 2 second drag and drop, so it’s a little unfair, but the user experience is definitely not awesome on this product. Finally, we’re not sure that the alarm vibration will be enough to wake heavy sleepers, or even light ones for that matter, if the unit is stored under a thick pillow.
We realize that the compromise is between battery power and vibrate power, but even so, there’s a real problem when your alarm fails to do its job because it’s too weak, and we suspect that may be the case here. Still for light sleepers, no problem.
An interesting idea, which with a bit more power and a better user app could be quite useful. We’re thinking that maybe Version 2.0 will provide a better result, if that ever happens.