Why smart alarm clocks can’t be trusted

Smart products should be superior to the dumb versions, even though they cost twice as much. Smart alarm clocks are extremely dumb, but that is not the case.
Smart alarm clocks can be used as bedside alarms. They allow you to set your alarm with just your voice. You can also use your Spotify playlist to wake you up. Many have touch screens, radars, cameras, and some can even use lighting to wake up you more naturally than a loud buzzer. However, none of them come with a backup battery. This feature has been standard in dumb versions for decades.

You could be stuck in dreamland forever if your power goes off in the middle or late of the night. This is why smart alarm clocks don't have this obvious feature.

Amazon's Echo Dot smart speaker with a clock app is designed to be used at night. There are over 20 alarm tones available. Is it equipped with a backup battery? It doesn't. Nope. The Lenovo Smart Clock 2 comes with a nightlight, touchscreen and dock for wirelessly charging your smartphone. But it also has a lithium-ion battery so you can get up every morning. Google's Nest Hub with sleep monitoring is smart enough that it can monitor you while you sleep using Soli radar technology. It won't wake you up if there is an outage of power overnight.

For many people, missing an alarm isn't a major problem. But for others, it can be a problem. Let's take my husband as an example. As a paramedic and fire captain, he can also be fired if he shows up late. His counterpart, who spent the night tackling a five-car pileup, must work an additional hour on top of his 24-hour shift. He refuses to use one for this reason. Although he loves the smart alarm clocks' sleep tracking and other features, he still keeps his phone plugged in at his bed to wake him up. It has a battery that, unlike other smart alarm clocks, can last him well into the morning.

They don't have a backup battery. This is something that has been standard in dumb versions for decades.

A few alarm clocks have smart features that allow you to store a few AAs or coins to preserve your settings in case of power failure. However, it is unlikely they will be able to set your alarm. The iHome alarm clock works with Siri or Google Assistant (if you press a button). The $150 Loftie offers guided meditation and sound baths, as well as a backup option. If you want to be 100% certain that youre going to get up on time, the Loftie is not for you. It has a touchscreen, voice assistants, Wi-Fi connectivity and smart home controls.

Manufacturers seem so focused on cramming as many features into their smart bedside displays, that they neglect to pay attention to the product's core function. This is a common theme in many smart home devices.

Smart alarm clocks can put you to sleep with the soothing sounds of the rainforest, dimming your lights, locking your doors, and setting your thermostat. They can also play your favorite music and tell your lights to turn on gradually to wake up your circadian rhythm. To keep you from getting chilled, they can turn on the thermostat. They can charge your phone simultaneously and allow you to watch the TV. If the power goes out, will they still work? No.

Why can't smart alarm clocks do their primary job reliably and be intelligent enough?

This oversight doesn't seem to be a technical limitation. Philips artificial sun alarm clock has an 8-hour battery backup, but it isn't smart enough to be called smart. Facebooks Portal Go smart display is powered by a huge lithium-ion battery. Although it is not intended to be used as an alarm clock, its large size, camera and ability to call your family via Facebook from bed does make it possible for smart displays to have two reliable power sources.

Although the chances of your clock being damaged by a power cut are slim, it is possible that your clock will stop working at the time you need it to. They are smart enough to turn off the power when it comes back on so you won't wake up to red LEDs flashing at 12:00. They might not work, but that's the truth. My husband finds this uncomfortable enough. He won't rely on his smart alarm clock until it does its job correctly.