The Drop is an alarm clock that I designed with a group of four other students. The goal was to design an alarm clock with ‘aesthetic interactions’, meaning that the interactions with the product needed to have good reasons. As usual, extensive exploratory prototyping was used for exploring meaningful interactions.

The product works in the following way:

The large bar represents the hours, the small bar represents the minutes. The bars can be moved up and down to adjust the wake-up time, and can also be turned to set the alarm. The length of the bars above the station is coupled to the amount of time left before the alarm goes off. 

When rotating the bars to set the alarm, a spring falls into the groove. This can both be heard and felt. The bars slowly move down when there is still time to sleep. When you have to get moving, the bars fall out of the station and fall to the ground, meaning a full stop of the time there is left to sleep. The sound of the bars hitting the ground, combined with the holes for the bars that start emitting light, awakens the user.

In order to turn off the alarm, both bars need to be put back into the station. Snoozing, meaning partially stopping the alarm, can be done by putting only the minutes bar back into the station for as far as the amount of minutes you want to snooze. This way, snoozing really is the job of stopping the alarm half done.

When picking up the bars the user stays low to the ground, allowing them to keep feeling sleepy. However, the user would have to stretch their body and reach up to the light to snooze or stop the alarm. The stretching of the body feels like waking up, standing up and allowing the world to see you.