An alarm clock (alarm for short) is a clock that is designed to alert an individual or group of individuals at specified time. The primary function of these clocks is to awaken people from their night's sleep or short naps; they are sometimes used for other reminders as well. Most use sound; some use light or vibration. Some have sensors to identify when a person is in a light stage of sleep, in order to avoid waking someone who is deeply asleep, which causes tiredness, even if the person has had adequate sleep. To stop the sound or light, a button or handle on the clock is pressed; most clocks automatically stop the alarm if left unattended long enough. A classic analog alarm clock has an extra hand or inset dial that is used to specify the time at which to activate the alarm. Alarm clocks are also found on mobile phones, watches, and computers.
A clock mechanism may be used to control a device according to time, e.g. a central heating system, a VCR, or a time bomb (see: digital counter). Such mechanisms are usually called timers. Clock mechanisms are also used to drive devices such as solar trackers and astronomical telescopes, which have to turn at accurately controlled speeds to counteract the rotation of the Earth.
Although the mechanisms they use vary, all oscillating clocks, mechanical, digital and atomic, work similarly and can be divided into analogous parts. They consist of an object that repeats the same motion over and over again, an oscillator, with a precisely constant time interval between each repetition, or 'beat'. Attached to the oscillator is a controller device, which sustains the oscillator's motion by replacing the energy it loses to friction, and converts its oscillations into a series of pulses. The pulses are then counted by some type of counter, and the number of counts is converted into convenient units, usually seconds, minutes, hours, etc. Finally some kind of indicator displays the result in human readable form.
Remember a time before everything was digital? Yeah… we don’t either. But a few excellent time-tested products pop up out of the woodwork from time to time, and a traditional dual bell alarm clock does the trick. The hands move silently while you sleep, and buzz like a mother when it’s time to rise and shine. If you’re like us, you’re sometimes bothered by LED flashing you in the face all night. With Peakeep Twin Bell Stereoscopic Clock, you simply touch the button to activate the stereoscopic dial backlight, check the time, and they cop-out for another fifteen minutes. Don’t worry – Peakeep will wake you up.
No, that’s not a statement - it’s an app title. This little handy dandy game makes you solve puzzles or finish writing exercises before it’ll let you off the hook. If you try to snooze it too many times, it’s going to remember, and put you through hell. It’s like getting interest on the fact that you slept in an extra five minutes the day before. For the love of gear, just solve the puzzle, and muddle through the morning - you’ll be glad you did.
Until advances in the late twentieth century, navigation depended on the ability to measure latitude and longitude. Latitude can be determined through celestial navigation; the measurement of longitude requires accurate knowledge of time. This need was a major motivation for the development of accurate mechanical clocks. John Harrison created the first highly accurate marine chronometer in the mid-18th century. The Noon gun in Cape Town still fires an accurate signal to allow ships to check their chronometers. Many buildings near major ports used to have (some still do) a large ball mounted on a tower or mast arranged to drop at a pre-determined time, for the same purpose. While satellite navigation systems such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) require unprecedentedly accurate knowledge of time, this is supplied by equipment on the satellites; vehicles no longer need timekeeping equipment.
While it’s not to be used in lieu of an alarm clock, this handy app will aggravate the hell out of you until you’re awake. You have to vigorously shake your phone for the duration of time previously set, or it’ll keep going. Pair this with sixty seconds after your new alarm clock going off, and you’ll throw yourself into a frenzy that you’ll need to power through to get out of. By that point, you’re already up.