So nice, so simple, a reference to old days!
What you’ve got above is a personal project by Frog creative director Jonas Damon and one of the best-looking alarm clocks we’ve seen in a long time — okay, in a few weeks, anyway. With its smooth beech-wood body and rounded edges, it harks back to the faux-grain GE flip clocks of yore, only it’s better, cleaner — it’d do Dieter Rams proud. There’s just one hitch: It’s a fake.
Not fake in the sense that it doesn’t exist. It most certainly does. It’ll be sold through the ur-hip design shop Areaware in September. (Pre-order it here.) It’s fake in the sense that it doesn’t do what it appears it should do. That woody body, where the electronic hardware oughta’ go? Hardware-free. The speaker grid up top? Purely aesthetic.
What this impostor of an alarm clock does do is stash your iPhone. It’s an Alarm Dock. Thirty-five dollars gets you the wood shell and a flip clock app. Fire up the app, pop your iPhone in the dock, and wake up each morning like it’s 1972 all over again. The idea: “[T]his dock returns meaningful form to the sliver of a device that will wake you up,” Areaware writes on its website. Which is to say that it’s designed to appeal to our boundless nostalgia for a time when physical objects had heft and maybe even a little soul. We’ll also take “meaningful form” to suggest that the alarm clock is, as all alarm clocks should be at 6 a.m., eminently throwable (minus your sliver of an iPhone, of course).
Alarm Dock is one of three products Damon created to sprinkle some analog flavor on the iWorld. The other two, a radio dock for iPhone and a TV dock for iPad that looks almost exactly like the clunky old Zenith we grew up watching Sesame Street on, add functionality to the mix; they come with speakers that actually work. Both are prototypes, though — apparently Damon tried to manufacture the iPad TV last year only to run into “quality problems,” he tells Co.Design — so neither is available just yet. But when they are, we bet more than a few irony-obsessed hipsters and folks sentimental for anything that’s more than 5 minutes old will buy iPads just to revisit the boob-tube experience of their youth. We might be one of them.