Unsnooze game for iPhone: Get points for waking up

Having trouble giving the snooze button a rest? Maybe a little good-natured competition will help get you up and going.

Unsnooze - The Game
Philips

If you don't follow "Game of Thrones," you might not know that winter is coming. But it is! And that means cold, dark mornings when your cozy bed might seem a lot more appealing than the world outside.

To help overly dedicated winter sleepers, Philips has released Unsnooze - The Game, an iPhone app that aims to rouse snooze-button addicts with a bit of early-morning competition.

To play, sleepyheads invite friends or strangers to set their alarm clocks to wake up together. Then everyone competes to hit the alarm button first. Whoever wakes up first wins and rises on the Unsnooze chart (before, let's be honest here, possibly going back to sleep). The basic idea is simple: you snooze, you lose.

For now, the free app is only out in App Stores in the Nordic countries, so notorious for their long, dark winters that one Norwegian town recently installed giant remote-controlled mountaintop mirrors to reflect sunlight into the shady valley corridor. But if the game proves popular, it could see a broader release.

Together with research institute Snabba Svar, Philips conducted a survey of snooze-button behavior in Nordic countries, finding that Norwegians are most addicted to hitting the snooze elongators, followed by their neighbors in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden.

The researchers contend that reliance on the snooze button can impair sleep quality, and say that just setting the alarm for later is preferable to grabbing those little increments of interrupted sleep that come between snooze.

Unsnooze really is just a fun marketing ploy for Philips Wake-up Light, which uses sound and light therapy to wake users gradually. Not surprisingly, Philips is using Unsnooze as an opportunity to push its light as a healthier, more natural way to wake up than the repeat-snooze-button method.

It's hard to imagine that Unsnooze - The Game will have nations moving to an earlier schedule, but as far as marketing goes, I really have to hand it to Philips and its PR partner Deportivo. The e-mail subject line "First of its Kind Snoozing App Lets Swedes Wake up with Strangers" sure woke me from my midweek stupor.

 

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