Alarm clock

New project done for school and looking for a design oriented electronics fabricator to help me make this design come true and offered to the public.

Image 1: Analisation of the design disaster (Pony CreamMachine …)
Image 2: Solution according to the target market which is the working class that has a certain design concern
Image 3: The boring part of schoolwork, although necessary 1:1 scale on Tabloid format

Comments por favor!
Sorry it’s in ze French language !!


I believe in sharing and trust and do post my images full resolution so you can also experience the final work as is. Just be nice and do not copy my work or any other person’s work. We’re creatives and each creation is a part of it’s author. Keep that in mind.


Flextronics is a well-known design-oriented electronics fabricator (they even bought Frog Design.)

I’m curious to know what it will cost you… Let us know how it goes!

Thanks allot cg, what I meant is that as a college student I might not be able to finance the project. I was thinking more in a way that I would be the mind and they the pocket and the hand. Think of it more like a sponsorship where they’ll own the rights and I’ll get a boost in my career. Anyways it’s just an idea open for discussion.
Thanks again!

(I suppose if later I need resources to release a personally financed project, that is the company I should go to? - from reading the about us pages)

so you are posting it here in hopes that a manufacturer will go “hey, I love that. I want to produce it”?
well, I would submit it to design competitions maybe… it’s a good way to have the industry take notice of your product.

Many students think this is the way it works, but I’ve never seen it happen. Industrial Design almost always works in the opposite way: they’re commissioned.

Bringing a product to market is extremely expensive, so there would have to be a clear Return on Investment for whoever funds it. Since this project wasn’t commissioned by anyone, you have to sell the concept:

Does this product serve an unmet need?
What is the bill-of-materials cost?
How much is the target market willing to pay for a clock with these features?
What is the size of the target market–how many are expected to buy?
How difficult/risky is the engineering/manufacturing technologies?
Can you build a prototype to confirm it’s feasibility?

It looks like it uses an impossible display technology (high resolution and round?) What was your intent here?

I like the Dreammachine. It wakes me up. Its got a dimmer on the green lcd. It sets itself. The alarm is easy to set. What is there to hate?

This is something I’ve seen before in student concepts that really kills it fast. A round LCD type display can be acheived using Liquavista:

@ bepster and cg: That isn’t my initial intent of the post but I thought it would be fun and a dream come true sow why not fantasize. For the display, the alarm display’s font may be changed to another of good taste to work as an LCD. For the radio frequency display it is just a lighten cutout.

As a 2nd year student (and currently working on a real product for a company), I am familiar with the process of product development. The 3d model is made with a parametric modeling software and is ready if not almost ready to be put to production.
This means that molding constraints were considered, ribs were added, clippings calculated etc. etc. Only for the buttons that are just mock ups for the rendering. Technologies were researched and reused to maintain a low fab. price.

Consider the fact that I’m still a student and some things can be reworked that’s why I proposed the idea that for example a company can buy the concept and I would help a team of experts to finalize it keeping that same design print and philosophy. But that was just as an abstract Idea

@Nurb: Funny that you say that because I myself have a dreammachine too but not that particular model the teacher selected which was a horrific amalgam of buttons which after 5 minutes I haven’t figured out. Mine I guess is a newer model. I’m pretty satisfied with it, it has half the buttons on the one selected. Although I don’t like the looksf of it even if it’s not it’s first purpose.

Nobody is trying to put you down. Just a jolt of reality.
You have absolutely the right to dream.
But I guess the air of naivete that surrounds your post provokes some eye rolling by more seasoned designers.

nice concept.

but it’s just a concept.

the reality is that ideas are really free (there’s an infinite amount of “new” ideas out there). it’s the capital, know how, sourcing and manufacturing that costs money and as such is intrinsically the hard part. with a technical product like this, there is pretty much no way someone would buy your idea and put their own money into it.

consider it this way- you’ve already shown your concept and along with the 100’s of other student concepts out there, what stops a company from taking the idea and making it not involving you. not saying this would happen (it very rarely does, although it seems students are always paranoid about this), but still, you have nothing really to offer…

i’d suggest perhaps to look at it another way. maybe you can simplify the concept, work with existing clock parts, learn how to solder, etc. and make your own version of the concept that you could bring to reality. make a few, sell them online and go from there, all in your own control and with your own $$.

best of luck,


@rkuchinsky: You just gave me a wonderful Idea!

@bepster: Yes I understand! but I am far from a naive person, I am just someone who would hold on to important dreams however the feasibility because every problem can be solved.
It’s that aura from professionals in any field that poisons the mind of students or young professionals hence creating a barrier to the dreams beyond realism. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, it just stops passionate people from trying harder, being better creatives and coworkers.
I personally had some unbelievable dreams come true in my life so I believe in success. How? It doesn’t really matter. I work hard on every project I put my hands into in order to make the best of it. And if the chance comes to rework it, i would try to make it better, and I am not the only one with this state of mind.

By the way I do want you guys to realize that my post was about commenting the project, but I still appreciate the fact that you are commenting my little dreamer idea, which I learned from. Thank you! and let’s get back to the concept itself!

Overall I think the graphic design and the presentation is pretty good. I love the fact that you integrated sketches in the background so we can follow your process a bit. The overall form is really clean and reminds me the archetype of the alarm clock. To me the emphasis you made on the 3d graph of the evaluation criteria may be a bit too much.

Did you do a mock up for this project? Is there enough room for your fingers between the snooze and the turn knobs? The other thing that I question is the positioning of the snooze button. Because it is on the side, will the alarm clock move or tip over when you will push on it?

Now the really bad part : Please review your orthograph, there are some errors everywhere accents missing, typos, words that don’t exist,etc. Orthograph is one of the things really butched out on presentation posters and it is more important than most people think because it shows an attention to detail and professionalism (at least to me).

I know you want to focus on the concept but always keep in mind the manufacturing process and technologies involved. Especially in Quebec, it can get pretty technical sometimes.

I don’t want to sound too harsh, I’m trying to give you constructive comments about your design.

Not harsh at all sir it’s the perfect comment scheme I’m looking for, for the orthography it was corrected on the final work given to the teacher, I posted this the night before and will probably update it. And I must also say I haven’t invented words that don’t exist because I have a pretty good french and used to open the dictionary for fun as a kid !
The 3D graph I had to put to please my teacher who is pretty technical about things and wanted us to write our criteria. Instead of just adding more plain text I decided to make a graph which I would have made more sober if I had more time in hand.
I personally find it unfit compared to the rest of the content but its just to pull the attention there since things that are located in bottom right corners tend to be ignored in our western left-to-right reading civilization.

Although i must admit there is some things you pointed out I have to reconsider. As for the stability while pressing on the snooze button, it was tested to be stable with a foam volume model

Thanks a million!

The snooze bar is in a non-conventional location, making it harder to find by feel. Also, because the force required is not top-to-bottom, the clock will slide to the left when pressed.

I don’t think you should bother with an indicator on either knob–volume is obvious (up, it gets louder) and mode should be made obvious from the front-face, not the top (no one will look at the labels on the top.) I do think that you’ve got the knobs right: the volume knob orientation leverages the natural-mapping principle, and the mode indicator is at the top.

The aesthetic is nice. I presume it’s intentional that you borrowed the design-language from the original dream-machine? (With the distinctive deep black lens.) Hopefully this is because you intended it to be for the Dream Machine brand, and not simply ripping it off. …But this isn’t clear.

The metaphor reference of an analog clock is intuitive and appropriate.

The radio tuner dial is unresolved and does not match the aesthetic. Make it oversized at least! (PS: radio is old-school–I want MP3 or Internet Radio!)

The vents on the back are linear when everything else is radial. This doesn’t seem to fit.

Eliminate the parting line–you already have one with the front lens, don’t give us another! This makes it a three part clamshell when you only need two.

The display technology is unrealistic as I’ve mentioned. This is a big problem that needs to be resolved.

A lot of features I like in alarm clocks are missing in this concept.

You must understand that this is a school project, and when it comes to school projects, there’s a ‘‘teacher’’ factor. The fact that i have a frontal clipped lens and old school features is based on the teacher’s choices. There was although no intent to imitate or to create a continuity to the dream machine. the inspiration came in a funny way from the Wall Street Toro.

I guess my design was more aesthetically oriented. If it was up to me I would put an mp3 player and use advanced display technologies and make it a design gadget. But there was also a price range to respect and that’s the result.

Speaker holes: I just like to break the mold sometimes

Part Line: Teacher factor

The volume knob is also to set the time or alarm. Electronically it would give the value + or -. And the mode, once you know where each thing is you don’t need to read it anymore. But sure everything can be made better! just… need…more…time and more brains on it to spot problems:P

Thanks allot! and keep it coming!

By the way cg, I’ll try to think of the perfect alarm for you:P

Last comment: as a general rule in product design, avoid modes! Any Interaction Designer will tell you this, but Industrial Designers need to learn…

Modes are a way to cram more features onto one control, and they’re horrible for usability. People have a hard time understanding them and it leads to unexpected behavior from the product. (Example: I want to turn down the volume, but I’m in the time-setting mode and accidentally adjust the time instead, at which point I curse the designer of the product!)

This is especially true for your (mode) selection button. Off/On/Radio/Alarm/Time … What do any of these actually do?

Get rid of On/Off–what do they do? There’s no such thing on a clock.

Get rid of the Radio setting. Instead, the radio turns on when you turn the volume up, off when you turn it down.

Get rid of Alarm and Time settings and provide two separate dials to set the time and to set the alarm (consider the alarm dial will be used more.)

Provide a really intuitive way to set the alarm on or off. I always thought the original alarm clock did this best–you pulled the button up to turn it on, and you pushed it back in to turn it off (this is where we get the snooze bar today, but people seem to have forgotton.)

OFF: Alarm Off
On: Alarm On
Radio: Radio on or Speaker on (plug in your Ipod in the audio in socket)
Alarm: Set the alarm
Time: Set the time - I put the time last according to the fact that it might be used that much.

I agree with you that there’s allot to rethink the product to make it more user-friendly. I love interface design and enhancements to make life easier for people to use things that are too complicated for no valuable reason.

I would not say I’m an underachiever but when it comes to school projects, you have so little time to think about enhacing your product and more time on getting the technical drawings ready and the paperwork done. That’s because I’m in the technical program of Industrial design and enhancing the interaction is not prioritized within the walls of my college although I try to do that. (I’m willing to go to university after)

I believe there’s a big step between the Dream machine and the BOK concept. Anyways I will sure consider analyzing the interactivity with the user in the upcoming projects. Thanks!