Hate getting up in the morning? So do over 1.5 million others.
Wakie touts itself as a “social alarm clock” with an international community of users who wake each other up in the morning. The idea is to get a stranger to wake you up. With each alarm set, a Wakie user will be randomly chosen from anywhere in the world, and only has up to one minute to wake you up before the call disconnects. You may also choose to return the favour by waking someone else up yourself.
The app made its debut on Windows Phones and Android earlier this year, but has finally arrived on iOS today.
“A lot of people keep snoozing alarm clocks and still can’t wake up,” Wakie co-founder and CEO Hrachik Adjamian said to TechCrunch. “Our research shows that a 1 minute talk to a stranger wakes your brain up with a 99 per cent guarantee. When someone asks you questions in the morning your brain has to wake up to answer. Also you try to be kind, you try to turn on your social pattern of behaviour. After the call you can’t sleep anymore even if you had a short sleep.”
Wakie is fully available in US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong. In all other countries, users can wake someone up, but not set alarms for the time being.
The Wakie Experience
Seeing the potential of the app for workaholics like us, we took Wakie out for a spin.
Those who would like to be woken up are aptly dubbed Sleepyheads; while early birds who would like to spread some morning cheer are dubbed Wakies.
We first tried out being a Sleepyhead.
The call came through two minutes before the designated time we set on the alarm clock. The Caller’s ID displayed a Canadian number.
“Mornin’,” said a muffled but cheerful male voice with a strong Irish accent, “it’s time to wake up.”
45 seconds of small talk later, we wished each other a good day and hung up. I found out that he was Irish and trying out the app for the first time. The rest of the conversation was obliterated by both the poor call quality and an inability to decipher his strong accent (and vice versa, probably).
That wasn’t too bad.
We were curious about the Canadian number though, since Wakie promised full anonymity of the calls. The number remained the same even after multiple rounds of testing the app as a Sleepyhead, and we concluded that it probably is a generic number through which Wakie sends out the calls, but not the actual phone number of the callers.
What we didn’t quite like though is that normal carrier charges still apply for incoming calls, especially since the calls were international calls, waking up each morning might become a rather expensive affair. It would help if the app stuck to Internet calls or allowed us to choose the country of origin of the callers, so that cost would not be a deterrent to the app usage.
Making wake up calls however appears to be free of charge.
For the times we got through as Wakies, it was very much a thankless job.
“Good morning!” I said.
“Hmph…(grunts),” said the male voice on the other end. “Okay…” The line went dead.
Other calls were directed to voicemail. Just my luck.
A scroll through the app’s comments section reveals that others had far more positive experiences of connecting with strangers through the app, some even trying to get in touch with their minute-long mates.
The Wakie app is currently provided free of charge, but according to TechCrunch, a paid-for “Premium” version is in the pipeline that will extend each wake up call to 5 minutes, and allow you to specify the gender of the person you are connected to and see their profile after the call, depending on the privacy settings.
And yes, in case you were wondering, the app also tries to match you with someone of the opposite gender. “It just makes you become nicer,” said Adjamian.
Wakie, we see what you did there.