The origin of the all-mechanical escapement clock is unknown; the first such devices may have been invented and used in monasteries to toll a bell that called the monks to prayers. The first mechanical clocks to which clear references exist were large, weight-driven machines fitted into towers and known today as turret clocks. These early devices struck only the hours and did not have hands or a dial.
Over the past decade, many of us have gotten used to setting our alarm clocks on our smartphones rather than purchasing a dedicated device for our nightstands. Despite their seeming obsolescence, an array of cutting-edge clocks have hit the market to aid us with everything from falling asleep to promoting better sleep cycles. Even Amazon is in the alarm clock game, with the Echo Spot, a device that resembles a Magic 8 Ball and functions much like the Echo Show.
Alarm clocks are perfect for your nightstand or bedside table to make sure that you wake up on time. There are many different kinds of alarm clocks, ranging from digital clocks, analog clocks to projection clocks. Originally, clocks had difficulty with precision because they used a set of imprecise internal gears. Now, atomic alarm clocks are the perfect solution if you are looking for a clock that will get you to work on time. The best alarm clock depends on your needs and personal style. You should consider your purpose behind purchasing an alarm clock before making your selection.
Synchronous electric clocks do not have an internal oscillator, but count cycles of the 50 or 60 Hz oscillation of the AC power line, which is synchronized by the utility to a precision oscillator. The counting may be done electronically, usually in clocks with digital displays, or, in analog clocks, the AC may drive a synchronous motor which rotates an exact fraction of a revolution for every cycle of the line voltage, and drives the gear train. Although changes in the grid line frequency due to load variations may cause the clock to temporarily gain or lose several seconds during the course of a day, the total number of cycles per 24 hours is maintained extremely accurately by the utility company, so that the clock keeps time accurately over long periods.
The naysayers might note that your cell phone alarm can already be set to vibrate, so why not just slip your smartphone under your pillowcase? All sanitary arguments aside, the SmartShaker 2 vibrates much more powerfully than a standard smartphone (three times more to be exact). The SmartShaker 2 also connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and incorporates a functional, easy-to-use app that’s available for both Android and iOS devices. You can even set up to 10 different alarms and choose from an array of options, just in case you want an audio alarm as well as a vibration. After all, sometimes the snooze struggle is all too real.
Its display can be turned off or dimmed, so the large, easy-to-read numbers won’t blind you all night long. If you like to wake up to the radio or to an alarm that gets louder over time, you won’t find those features here (though there is a version with a Bluetooth speaker but still no radio). Still, it does its job well, and there’s a reason this clock is found in lots of hotel rooms.
“Great alarm clock for the price. Gigantic numbers for my old eyes. Very basic, easy to set, just what I wanted. Alarm is loud even on low [with] an awful sound that would wake the dead. But that sound makes me get right up, so it does exactly what it’s supposed to do. If you want a soft gentle caress to wake you, get something else, but this is a good alarm and easy to use.”