Over the years we've seen various attempts to reinvent the humble alarm clock, from one that wakes you with an electric shock, another that literally runs away from you, and one that wafts your favorite scent into the air as you wake up. The Sandman Doppler eschews such gimmicks in favor of some features that most people will actually find pretty useful.

The biggest, and potentially most useful, feature of the Sandman Doppler is the integration of Amazon Alexa, with support for "most" Alexa skills. Those hesitant to jump into the world of voice-controlled devices cannot deny the usefulness of being able to simply lay in bed and say to your alarm clock, "wake me up at 7 am".

The Doppler also functions as a nifty set of 14-watt Bluetooth stereo speakers. Additionally, there are a whopping six USB ports integrated into the rear, reflecting the fact that most of us have a plethora of mobile devices to charge up at the end of the day. With an eye on future-proofing, three of the regular USB ports can be switched out for USB-C ports (sold separately).

Numerous nifty design ideas make the Doppler a well considered device. The giant LED numbers are dimmable, cutomizable by color, and the brightness can be set to automatically dim according to the light in the room or be turned off completely. An internal rechargeable battery backup will cover you in case of power outages, and dashboard indicators offer direct readouts of info such as weather, traffic and temperature. Of course, being a device made in 2017 it also comes with an app to easily control everything through your smartphone.

The Sandman Doppler smashed its Kickstarter goals pretty quickly, but you can still snag one for US$119. As with all crowdfunding campaigns, it's a case of buyer, or backer, beware, but the company behind the project, Palo Alto Innovation (PAI), has produced products before, including an earlier less sophisticated version of this alarm clock. This updated model isn't due to ship until July 2018.

Take a look at the Sandman Doppler in action below.

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