Most alarm clocks are designed to get people out of bed, but there are scenarios where you'd like one to keep them in. Many parents will be all too familiar with this sentiment, and it's something that the Mella kids clock is designed to achieve by using a mix of lights and facial expressions to enlighten toddlers about the bliss of sleeping in.
Mella is a cute clock with a simple design made by San Francisco-based startup Little Hippo. At night time, it can function as a nightlight in one of five colors and play gentle, relaxing sounds to send kids off to sleep, including rain, white noise or the ocean.
Then in the morning half an hour before you actually want the kid to get up, a gentle alarm goes off, the facial expression on the clock face changes from sleeping to something more playful and the LED ring around its edges turn yellow.
This is supposed to signal to the kid that the time is ripe for quiet, pre-dawn playtime. The hope is that by using this mix of facial expressions and colors it can train kids to keep to themselves until the light turns green, when it is time to start the day.
Little Hippo is currently raising funds on Kickstarter to get Mella into commercial production, and has flown past its $20,000 goal to bank more than $30,000 in pledges at the time of writing. Early pledges of $39 will have one of the clocks headed your way in January 2018 if all goes to plan.
You can check out the pitch video below.