If ever there was a case of a startup demonstrating the kind of hurdles involved with producing hardware, it’s WakeMate. We first wrote about the Y Combinator-funded startup over a year ago, which promises to help you kiss your groggy mornings goodbye with the help of a special wristband device that beams data about your sleeping habits to your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. The company initially planned for a shipdate of January 2010, but it’s since slipped multiple times after being plagued with problems. Finally, this weekend, WakeMate announced that it’s fulfilling all pre-orders and that they should arrive very shortly (you can get overnight shipping if you want it by Christmas Eve).
There’s one caveat — WakeMate says it can’t fulfill its international orders just yet because of “certification and shipping logistics”, which it will need some extra time to deal with. But this is still huge news for the startup given how many times it’s run into glitches and seen its release date slip over the last year, resulting in plenty of frustrated customers.
In many ways, WakeMate’s $60 sensor serves as a cheaper alternative to the Zeo Alarm Clock (which runs around $180 on Amazon) . After pairing the WakeMate device with your phone, you specify a 20 minute window during which you want the alarm to wake you up the next morning. Then, instead of blaring an alarm at 7:00AM sharp, the device will monitor your body movements throughout that 20 minute window and wake you up when you’re in your lightest stage of sleep, which can help reduce grogginess. It also keeps more detailed analytics on your sleeping habits, helping you identify trends so you can optimize your night’s sleep.
There has been one benefit that stems from the repeated WakeMate delays: the company has had time develop applications for a slew of devices, including Android phones, BlackBerry, and iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad).
Here’s an image of the devices that are now shipping
Image by HilaryAQ