Waking up in the morning can be a chore, and Microsoft’s latest app is trying to help by pissing you off.
The Mimicker Alarm app hit the Google Play store on Thursday and it’s essentially a way for the software giant to offer a peek into Project Oxford‘s growing machine-learning APIs that focus on computer vision, speech, and emotions.
How can an alarm clock app do all that? By turning the process of waking up in the morning into a game. There are three games to choose from when you set your alarm — Express Yourself, Color Capture, and Tongue Twister. The first just asks you to take a selfie that matches the chosen emotion — so if the app says to make a surprised face, you’ll need to point the phone’s front-facing camera to your face and show it your biggest surprised look if you want to turn off your alarm. Once you succeed, you can share your picture to various social media sites.
Color Capture can be a little more annoying, as it requires you to take a picture of something that matches the color they give you, so unless you have a colorful room, this will probably force you out of bed, scrambling to find a specific color in your house while the alarm is still going off. Tongue Twister essentially asks you to repeat a tongue twister, which can be pretty tricky in those wee early hours.
“We’re a lot nicer than other alarms,” said Allison Light, program manager at Project Oxford in the blog post announcement. “You start with dismiss or snooze. If you snooze, the default is five minutes to delay the game. If you dismiss, we mute the alarm — but then you have 30 seconds to complete this challenge. And if you don’t complete that game in time, we assume you’ve fallen back asleep and then the alarm will start ringing again. You only need to complete one game to shut off the alarm. You can choose the sounds and which games you want to play.”
Sounds like an effective, if nightmarish, way to get you out of bed. You can grab the free app here.