Crowdfunding Spotlight: Sense

Crowdfunding Spotlight: Sense

Aug 8, 2014

As an American I feel that it seems that we are sometimes destined to not get enough sleep. We wake up early for work and then spend all day chugging coffee only to quickly try and fall asleep so we can start it all over again tomorrow. There are plenty of apps for smartphones that allow the user to keep a record of their sleeping habits, and I have tried a handful of them myself. One of the biggest problems with these is that the phone has to physically be on the bed with you, and because it is constantly recording data is should also be charging. Sometimes these two things are not very convenient, and it puts the impetus on the user to set everything up before going to bed which, from my personal experience, is the area where I tended to fall short the most.

Enter the Sense. A beautiful, spherical device that sits on the bedside table and analyzes sleep not just through motion, but through ambient light, sound, and temperature. The Sense knows the perfect environment for sleep and will display what factor was most likely responsible for a poor nights sleep. This will allow for corrections to be made which should improve sleep quality.

The Sense comes in three parts, there is the base station that houses the brains as well as almost all of the sensors in the system. The actual motion sensor comes in a clip that discretely attaches to the user’s pillow and constantly communicates to the base station during the evening. The final piece of the puzzle is the smartphone app that is almost a given now days, and this displays a myriad of information for consumption by the user to digest. Featured prominently is a number that is the score for that night’s sleep measured out of 100. The app looks great, and it truly seems to be a joy to use.


My favorite feature is the smart alarm that times the user’s natural sleep cycles and knows the right time to sound the alarm. Simply put in a range of acceptable alarm times and the Sense will know, based on that night’s sleep pattern, when the sleeper is at their shallowest cycle; aka. when they will wake up easiest.

As always, the biggest selling point will be the price; will the Sense be cheap enough that somebody would justify splurging for it or getting it as a quick birthday or holiday gift? With the pre-order price set to $120 this is sitting right on that line. Maybe for a big Christmas gift or college graduation present, but the Sense is definitely not something most people would buy on the spur of the moment. All that aside, however, this is a great product and I can see it really taking off and becoming a massive hit in the tech community; especially those of us who work for a living.

Alarm Clock by doubleTwist App Review

Alarm Clock by doubleTwist App Review

Apr 6, 2012

Being a college student, getting a good nights sleep is very important yet very rarely accomplished. Due to all the late nights toiling away at one’s studies, having good alarm is essential, and a little flair wouldn’t hurt. Enter: doubleTwist. Now I’ve reviewed apps by doubleTwist before, notably their flagship music player, but an alarm clock app took me by surprise. After looking through the app for a while, however, it started to make sense. One of doubleTwist’s strongest assists is its striking and elegant visual style and their music management system. This beautiful app bears doubleTwist’s signature dark styling, and when selecting a playlist or song to use as an alarm the doubleTwist Player has to be installed. Some may question the decision to make such a large aspect of the app proprietary, but this move represents a bold step foreword for doubleTwist. By establishing a suite of apps that all feed off of the same ecosystem, they are attempting to form what Apple and Sony have been doing with home entertainment for decades.

The app itself is, as previously stated, gorgeous. The landscape analog and digital clocks are sublimely detailed, especially the analog one which includes an array of gears behind the elegantly ornate centerpiece. For phones with a kickstand like my EVO 4G this app would work beautifully as a bedside clock because of the included night modes of each clock which dim the screen brightness and change the colors from whites and oranges to calming blues and blacks. The one problem with this is that there is no in-app option to turn off the screen timeout so this must be done remotely. I did not find this to be much of a problem seeing as it is an option on a switch widget on my home screen, but an included option would have been nice.

As an alarm clock this app works just as well if not better then the stock Android clock application. Built in is a sleep cycle calculator which for those who don’t know, suggests time to either fall asleep or wake up based on the fact that the best time to wake up is between sleep cycles. Websites like do this but having this feature baked into an app is a giant plus because it does work and I utilize it almost every night.

With great integration with their Player and standout visual appeal, DoubleTwist has put together an amazing free app that is worth downloading even for those not privy to the doubleTwist ecosystem.