Have you ever wondered how people used to wake up?
Sounds like a simple question, but the reality is that humans have had schedules long before traditional alarm clocks, which means that we’ve been using unconventional methods to wake up ever since the early days.
People have actually been using this method ever since the dawn of time (and some continue to do so).
It is said that in the Canadian military, rookies would drink 8 cups of water right before going to bed so that they would wake up in the middle of the night to make their bed spotless before the 5am inspection.
It forced them to wake up and use the washroom, but then also make their bed, clean their room, get dressed in uniform... and spend the rest of the night sleeping with nothing but a pillow on their desk.
And you thought your mornings were rough.
With the earliest evidence dating back to 4000 BC in China, water clocks were the first physical products to be used as a timekeeping device.
There are many iterations of water clocks, but the one pictured is a Persian Fenjaan that dates back to 500 BCE.
This system consisted of cups of water communicating with each other. When the smallest bowl hit the bottom, a bell would get knocked, and a manager would then drop a stone in a bucket to keep track of the amount of times the bowl was filled. Pure genius, isn't it?
The Knocker Upper
During the Industrial Revolution, people continued to use other individuals as part of the waking up process.
The Knocker Upper was a gentleman who was hired to get up early and walk through the streets knocking on people's windows at the desired wake up time.
Definitely a step up from drinking gallons of water before bed. Still, you had to make friends with the guy to get some extra minutes of sleep.
The Mechanical Alarm Clock
The first mechanical alarm clock was built in 1876. Their major advantage was that they could be set for any time - a significant improvement over the previous alarm clock that would only go off at a predetermined time (generally 4am).
Let's admit it: these alarm clocks are so darn sexy. That's why they continue to be treasured around the world (and on eBay).
However, they don’t have the functionalities that we have grown accustomed to, and generally only ring with an annoying and very loud bell noise.
The Radio Alarm Clock
To replace the annoying sound of the previous mechanical alarm clock, James Reynolds created the world’s first radio alarm clock in 1940.
People were now able to wake up with their favorite radio station and listen to music as they got ready for the day ahead.
It was a massive hit. It led to an entire ecosystem of content and was the reason why morning radio shows are so popular today.
A leap in technology for cell phones, for sure, but not so much for alarm clocks.
While the iPhone deeply changed how we communicate with one another, it really isn't that different from the good old mechanical alarm clock: it just gets the job done.
The only advantages of waking up with the iPhone is that it's always near you, and setting up an alarm is dead easy.
Okay, we might be a bit biased, but it's time for alarm clocks to do more than just wake you up with the same irritating sound every day.
Up until now, inventors and companies have taken the science approach to creating better alarms. At Kello, we’re flipping the tables on conventional strategy - we’re taking the human approach.
What's YOUR weird way to wake up? Are your more a "45 alarms and 10 snoozes" or a "phone at the other side of the room" person? Tell us in the comments!