New product Circa wants you to ditch the alarm function on your smartphone

It’s easily done – you’re all tucked up in bed, you pick up your phone just to set your alarm . . . and 40 minutes later you’re in deep, endlessly scrolling through ASOS’s partywear selection. And then – shock – it’s difficult to get to sleep. As so many sleep aids and trackers are run through smartphone apps, these too run the risk of accidentally tempting would-be sleepers into late-night Instagram deep-dives. With this in mind, brands are starting to provide alternative products to help achieve better sleep habits.

Recently reaching its funding target on Kickstarter, Circa aims to provide fewer distractions during bedtime and waking up, by getting consumers to return to the stand-alone alarm clock that only does one job. The alarm connects to a sensor that sits under the mattress to track sleep, enabling it to go off at the lightest stage of the sleep cycle for a more refreshing, energised start to the day. Circa also collects sleep data via the sensor so that it can help users to understand their sleep patterns and build better routines.

Circa also has features to encourage sleep, such as soothing natural sounds like trees blowing in the wind and white, pink or brown noise to mask noises that might disturb sleep. Its built-in breathing assistant uses a pulsing light to guide users through exercises to slow down their breath and relax in preparation for bedtime.

As we reported this summer, design graduates are also focusing on wellness and products that re-instil natural rhythms, with a focus on new natural lighting products.

This is not about a rejection of technology, as the alarm connects to smart home systems – but rather a sensitive and non-intrusive use of tech to enhance wellness. As consumers try to feel more in control of their use of technology, devices that feel in sync with natural routines and rhythms will become increasingly important.

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