Alarm clocks? Hasn't the ubiquitous smartphone relegated them to the dustbin of history? These days your phone can wake you up in a million ways in the morning, chirruping the music track of your choice.
But perhaps we're making these multipurpose devices work too hard. If you long for simpler times, when a single gadget had just one function which it did supremely well, this beautifully rethought bedside companion could be just thing for you.
THE LEXON FLIP LR130 ALARM CLOCK is an unobtrusive 10.5 x 6.5 x 3cm, weighing only 100g. Powered by a pair of AAA batteries (supplied), this ingeniously simple British design was conceived by Designwright, the London-based design company run by the brothers Adrian and Jeremy Wright.
Their brilliant idea? Take an alarm clock with an electronic display and add an accelerometer. The accelerometer is the tiny chip in every smartphone that knows which way to orient the screen when you rotate it from portrait to landscape. Use this to switch off the alarm when you turn the clock upside down.
So the Lexon alarm clock has two modes: ON or OFF, depending on which way up it is. The backlit LCD display on the front rotates accordingly.
Knowing Which Way Is Up
In the ON mode (unmistakable, as the corresponding top and bottom surfaces are clearly embossed ON and OFF) the main time display is supplemented by a smaller alarm time display in the bottom right corner. The alarm, like the main time, is set from a pair of very easy to use hour and minute click buttons at the rear of the clock.
Each ON and OFF surface also has a non-mechanical touch button immediately above the centre of the clock face. In either position this button will switch on the back lighting for four seconds so you can read the time in the dark. In the ON position this button also doubles as a snooze switch, turning the alarm off for five minutes.
The alarm is an electronic beep, which starts slowly and gets faster in stages, eventually becoming really annoyingly urgent unless you intervene by snoozing or flipping it.
When you've (optionally) snoozed enough, for as many five-minute intervals as you need, and are sufficiently awake to get up, simply flip the clock over so that the OFF surface is showing and the alarm will stop. When you get into bed at night, turn the clock so the ON surface is uppermost and you're ready for your next alarm.
And that's it. A very simply designed alarm clock done right. You'll find it on the Web in a variety of colours and finishes at Gifts with Style for £28.95.