Snooze: A Bedtime Story
"Sleeping is the highest accomplishment of genius."- Soren Kierkegaard
Tired of fumbling for your iPhone early in the morning in hopes of snoozing the alarm? So were we. That’s why we designed Snooze: the stand that gives iPhone a home by your bed plus a big, functioning snooze button. No more knocking your iPhone off of the nightstand or turning your alarm off by accident – the rubber snooze bar lets you easily quiet your alarm or incoming phone calls.
Solving a Universal Problem
Like lots of us, Lindsay uses her iPhone to wake up. Unfortunately, she has a super-hero ability to sleep through anything. She's downloaded loads of alarm apps, and has a complicated dance of snoozes to coax her into consciousness, but something's always missing…. a big old-fashioned snooze button!!
We've all dealt with the problem – the iPhone alarm goes off, your brain is full of fog and your glasses are somewhere not on your face… you poke blindly at the screen hoping to tap the tiny "snooze" button, you knock your iPhone onto the floor, or heaven forbid you swipe the lock and deactivate the alarm altogether. Before the iPhone, mindlessly slapping an alarm clock always seemed to do the trick. That's it – adding a giant snooze button to the iPhone is answer! It's our very first product as the newly formed Distil Union, and we couldn't be more excited. Snooze sets the tone for the helpful, fun and clever products that we can't wait to bring to market.
Turning an Idea into a Product
First we did some market research to see what's out there already. There are apps that turn your screen into a snooze button, but that's not satisfying to slap and could send your iPhone flying onto the floor. There are stands that look pretty but don't really do anything. And there are expensive charging or speaker docks that we just don't need. Everything lacked that magical combination of simple functionality and minimal style we were looking for. So we got to work designing the perfect bedside dock. We went to the drawing board with these criteria:
• It should easily silence your iPhone alarm
• Be an attractive bedside home for your iPhone
• You should be able to use your iPhone while it's charging
• and it should work with or without the Apple Bumper Case
Any alarm app that utilizes the volume buttons to snooze will work, but we designed the Snooze App that works seamlessly with Snooze. It's based on the native iPhone alarm app, but with the added ability to change the length of the snooze, plus a dimmable clock-face display that complements Snooze. The entire UI is in landscape mode, like the Snooze dock itself. We hired local songsmith Josh Kaler to compose a range of alarm sounds; from charming ukelele to shredding electric guitars, he's created an alarm for everybody. We have a laundry list of things we'd like to offer in a paid version of the app – like sleep timers, local weather updates and gradual-wake functionality. But for now, we're keeping it straight-forward and free.
Inspired by turn-of-the-century electric cables, we designed a charge-and-sync cable featuring a woven outer cover. We call it Weave, and we think the pop of red, the tactile finish and the convenient 5-foot length really elevate Snooze. Of course, we wanted those folks who already have a cable to save some bucks with an option to buy only the Snooze dock. But dang, look at that sassy red cloth-covered cable! Speaking of sassy, Snooze looks best with a naked iPhone, but we designed a removable insert for use with the Apple Bumper Case. Another feature we added is a small hole in the back of Snooze to hold your cable in place – and since you're not docking your iPhone to a base, you can pick up and use your iPhone while it stays connected and charging.
Turning a Dream into Reality
In order to bring this dream machine to life, we launched a crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter. The month-long endeavor proved successful, and we raised enough to cover everything from app development to manufacturing, packaging and shipping. Here's a look at some of the manufacturing that went into the making of Snooze's wooden body at Gerber Wood Products in Kidron, OH:
Once we received the wood from Ohio and the rubber and plastic parts from our vendor in Asia, we assembled each Snooze by hand here in our office!
||We’d like to say thanks to our backers who believed in Snooze and quite literally helped make this dream come true. Peep the special Kickstarter-only reward: a super-soft tee that we printed up ourselves in Lindsay's print shop at Redux Studios!
Mucho Thanks To: Cole Palmer and Kevin Eichelberger at Blue Acorn for sharing their e-knowledge with us. Tim Passarella for the enthusiastic late-night camera work. Tom McCorkle for his impeccable photography and guidance in all things visual. Josh Kaler at Hello Telescope for the Snooze App alarm sounds and the video soundtrack. Kit Hughes and his team at Pixel Perfect Code for the Snooze App development. Michael Salvo for his priceless and complimentary SEO assessment. Eric Saunders at Podium for hosting the easy breezy beautiful Facebook giveaway. And all of our friends and family for their ongoing support and feedback!