Smartphones are replacing the need for many other devices, making some of them surplus to requirements, and turning others into luxuries rather than necessities. I'm talking about watches, calculators, dedicated media players, and even handheld games consoles and cameras – the capabilities of which are all contained, to varying degrees, in the not-so-humble smartphones lurking inside your pocket. Alarm clocks are another product that should by all rights be on the endangered list ... especially as there is now an iPhone accessory that brings old-school alarm clock functionality to your smartphone.
The product in question is the iBell, an iPhone cradle that turns the vibration of your phone into the physical ringing of two bells mounted on the rear of the device. The iBell can be connected to mains electricity via an AC adapter, meaning you're guaranteed not to be left with an iPhone that is out of charge and unable to sound the alarm to signal you to wake up.
There is also a smaller version of the product available, called the iBell mini. As with the full-sized iBell, this attaches to the iPhone via the dock connector, turning the device into a mobile (but very expensive) alarm clock. This does mean the iBell and iBell mini are incompatible with the new iPhone 5 and its Lightning connector, at least without the use of an adapter.
The iBell is available in black or white, while the iBell mini is available in black, white, blue, orange, and pink. Both versions cost US$38, with worldwide shipping costing an extra $16. It's necessary to download an app to make the iPhone alarm trigger the physical bells, and the instructions are in Japanese but "self-explanatory."View gallery - 2 images