In the morning, it can be incredibly difficult to pull yourself out of bed. This causes many people to rely on alarm clocks. Of course, even with an alarm clock you might find it too easy to hit the snooze button and go back to sleep. So, what happens when that alarm clock just isn’t doing the trick anymore?
The Microsoft Garage Project has created an alarm that forces you to stay up after your alarm clock goes off. According to the website, “With Mimicker Alarm you can wake up and stay up by using your surroundings to complete a game (or mimics) and dismiss your alarm. Each of the games is powered by Microsoft Cognitive Services, a collection of machine learning REST APIs, which includes the former Project Oxford.”
Project Oxford is a tool that uses four different components including face recognition, speech processing, visual tools, and language understanding intelligent service (LUIS). The hope is that other developers will use this tool in order to build more intelligent apps.
This app uses three different APIs (Application Program Interfaces): Emotion, Computer Vision, and Speech, in order to “showcase the capabilities of the platform and to give developers examples of how they too can integrate machine learning into their apps.”
The app might ask you to take a selfie, choose a color, mimic the emotion, or speak a tongue twister.
The makers of the app even tested out the alarm and games to make sure they actually woke people up. They said, “The tricky part of the project came when fine tuning the difficulty of each Mimic – how can we make the games hard enough to help you wake up but not too hard to complete? To solve this, we did a lot of testing and woke up with the alarm every morning to make sure each game had the difficulty set perfectly.”
Allison Light, a program manager on the team that developed the app said, “With Mimicker, we are showcasing several different Project Oxford APIs. We wanted to build a simple app that used Project Oxford to make it unique and interesting. Since we are open sourcing all of the code, we thought an alarm app would be easy for other developers to read the code and see how we used the APIs.”
Mimicker Alarm is free for download and available on Android devices.
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