Most of us don't have a great relationship with our alarm clocks, given that their sole purpose is essentially to scream at us until we get up. The new Kello smart alarm clock, however, is designed to help us sleep better, snooze less and wake up earlier, all using a gentle approach.

"People don't need another app, sleeping pill, gimmicky alarm clock, or spreadsheets full of sleep data," says Kello cofounder and CEO Antoine Markarian in a press release. "They need to change their lifestyle. Kello helps you do just that."

Despite that, the Kello system comprises a bedside device and, indeed, an accompanying app. The app is available for iOS and Android and is used for the initial setup of the device, as well as to control the various functions it offers. Together, it and the Kello alarm clock are aimed at gently introducing changes to the user's lifestyle.

The Kello's most basic functionalities simply encourage a regular bed-time, which is said to contribute to more restorative sleeping, and a regular wake-up time, which Kello says helps to train the body clock and make it easier to wake up over time. Integrations with Spotify, Deezer and internet radio stations, meanwhile, give users a variety of content choices to wake up to.

Kello also has a variety of other functions that seek to improve sleep in cleverer ways. The "Deep Sleep" feature, for example, is aimed at helping users to fall asleep more quickly once they are in bed. It uses a slowly pulsing light for users to mimic with their breathing. In theory, this will help them slow their breathing to a natural sleeping rhythm and quicken the onset of sleep.

A "Snooze Less" feature is aimed at training users to make less use of the alarm clock's snooze function, which is said to result in a disturbed sleeping rhythm.

To combat this, Snooze Less allows users to set a limit as to how many times they can snooze the alarm over the course of a week. Once the allotted snooze times have been used, the Kello can be programmed to ring louder, change playlists or even turn on the lights, thereby encouraging the user to get up.

With the "Wake Up Earlier" function, Kello seeks to help the user become an earlier riser. Based on the principle that changing the time you get up to, say, an hour earlier is most easily done in small increments, the Kello can gradually trim a few minutes off the user's daily wake-up time each day for 30 days.

In a similar way, the Kello can help users to prepare for and recover from jet lag. Users need only input a destination to which they are traveling and their travel dates. The Kello will then work out a light and sleep schedule that will help to minimize the effects of jet lag.

Beyond its sleep-improvement features, it is also possible to use the Kello to automate simple tasks using IFTTT. A user can, for example, program it to trigger a smart coffeemaker when his alarm goes off so that coffee is already being brewed by the time he gets into the kitchen.

A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for the Kello is under way. Pledges from US$89 will be rewarded with one of the devices, assuming all goes to plan with the roll-out. Shipping is expected from March 2017.

The video below is the Kickstarter pitch for the Kello.

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