The University of Southampton

Former engineering students launch dawn simulation alarm clock

Published: 29 January 2018
Toby Isaacs and Freddie Temperton with their Rise alarm clock

Two alumni from Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) have launched a crowdfunding campaign for a smart alarm clock they developed during their studies at the University of Southampton.

Freddie Temperton and Toby Isaacs are pursuing a £150,000 Kickstarter target over the next four weeks for Rise, a dawn simulation alarm clock that has integrated Bluetooth, Spotify and FM radio technology.

The former student entrepreneurs created early prototypes with support from the University’s Future Worlds startup incubator and have continued its development since graduating in 2016 to now offer the product’s first units.

“Humans are programmed to wake up with the sun,” Freddie explains. “This isn’t compatible with modern life, so we use harsh alarms to force ourselves out of bed before our bodies are ready. Rise solves this. It gradually lights your room before your alarm goes off, simulating the sun.”

Rise can be controlled by a companion app and includes a colour changing LED lamp, omni-directional speaker, auto-dimming OLED, Spotify integration and fast charge USB ports. The startup team, which includes Coventry University graduate Peter Garland, worked with renowned light designer Mortiz Waldemeyer to create a look for the product which is based on the formation of crystals.

“I originally had the idea to combine all the desired technologies of a bedside lamp, alarm clock and speaker in one sleek and elegant device,” Freddie adds. “We’ve learnt a lot over the last couple of years about the economics of bringing a product to market and more recently had a crash course in marketing and video editing.”

Freddie worked closely with the Future Worlds incubator during his Electronic Engineering degree and is now based in San Francisco, California, where he has continued a long distance collaboration with UK-based Rise developers. Toby studied Electrical Engineering and now works as a development engineer in Milton Keynes.

“Future Worlds has helped us in several different ways over the years,” Freddie explains. “They’ve given us lots of helpful advice and we enjoyed filming a promo video with them. This helped us to understand this process which has been important for Kickstarter where all projects require a video. We’ve also been speaking to Future Worlds mentor and crowdfunding specialist Chris Buckingham whose knowledge has helped us improve our campaign.”

The Rise Kickstarter campaign will run until Saturday 24th February. Click here to view the project or make a pledge.

Watch the video made by the Rise team during their studies at ECS

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