Technology is cyclical.
In our current state, we’re in the times of past technology (alarm clocks) solving the problems created by current devices (smartphones).
When it comes to sleep, scientific research has shown that smartphones and their blue light have a terrible effect on our quality of sleep, leading to grogginess, worse moods and even obesity.
The problem: Many people, myself included, use smartphones as their alarm clocks. When you have a device that has social media, doomscrolling and funny videos at your behest, how can you not sneak a few hours of it before bed?
That’s the goal of the Loftie Alarm Clock ($165, byloftie.com), a smart alarm clock with all of the good features of a smartphone (alarm, night light, calming noises, breathing exercises) and none of the bad ones (social media, bright lights, loud noises).
The clock is light, easy to set up and simple. It has three buttons: a long, horizontal one for snoozing at exiting a menu, a middle one to access the features of the clock and a circle to select items on the display.
Connected to your Wi-Fi, the Loftie is advertised as a “continually evolving experience,” as it updates its library of soothing sounds, noise baths, alarm sounds and breathing exercises.
Using this for a month, and leaving my phone in the other room, I obviously felt less temptation to scroll endlessly on social media. The multiple alarms are easy to set and turn on and off (I was not a fan of the alarm sound, which never changed). I liked the ability to control the brightness of the nightlight and found the extra options were a nice way to wind down, while eliminating the urge to check texts, e-mails, etc.
Here’s the sticking point — the price. The question of paying $165 for a smart alarm clock comes down to how serious your addiction to your phone is, how much you want to change how it’s affecting your sleep and if it’s worth using your disposable income to do it.
Yes, you likely can find all of the options this alarm offers through apps on your phone. But again, it means keeping that temptation of your phone nearby. You also could buy a cheap alarm clock and set new boundaries with your phone and listen to recordings of breathing exercises or noises.
What Loftie is aiming for is people looking for an all-inclusive sleep device that will keep the phone out of the room. To that, I say this is a solid device with no frills and a lot of charm. If your phone addiction is a problem, this could help address it. But for me, a person with a controllable phone addiction, the price tag is a little too much.