Jeremy Ide of Hollis wins $10,000 scholarship from Samsung for social alarm clock app
HOLLIS – Jeremy Ide, a junior at Hollis Brookline High School, won a $10,000 scholarship earlier in January for a smart phone app he created.
Called Wake Up With Friends, the app creates a competition among friends to see who can be the first to wake up and get moving in the morning.
Ide said the HBHS robotics teacher, Sue Hay, provided information about the Samsung Mobile App contest last spring, and his parents encouraged him to enter.
“Sometimes, I have trouble waking up in the morning, and I wanted to find a way that I’d be motivated to wake up,” he explained. “I talked to some friends about it and they gave me input and ideas.”
Wake Up With Friends is essentially a social alarm clock, turning the dreaded morning wakeup time into a fun challenge.
“It is a game you play with friends to see who can turn (the alarm) off fastest after it goes off,” he said.
“You can poke your friends if they haven’t gotten up. If you still don’t get up, it will automatically post to
Facebook or Twitter that you have slept in, so there’s social pressure to wake up.”
To prevent snoozing, users can’t just press a button to turn off the alarm; They must shake the phone vigorously for at least 10 seconds to prove that they are awake. Merely turning the alarm off without shaking the phone will register as still being asleep.
“It’ll sense that you are shaking it and turn the alarm off,” Ide said. “It kind of gets you moving.”
Points are scored based on how quickly the user gets up: Five points for being the first to turn off the alarm, three points for the second to wake, and one point for the third person up. The alarms need not be set for the same time for the game to work.
The app tracks wake up points for members of the group and how many times each person has been poked. Participants can view statistics for their entire group, including how many embarrassing statuses have been posted. They can invite other friends to join the competition via Facebook and other social media.
Ide said he anticipates high school and college students will be the main potential customers for Wake Up With Friends.
In addition to coming up with his idea for a social alarm clock, Ide had to complete a multiple-page entry form discussing topics such as what the app will do, how it is unique, who the target audience is and how he came up with the name.
Contest entries were submitted in late June, and winners were notified in December. The top three finalists were invited on an expense-paid trip to the Consumer Electronics Show from Jan. 7–9 in Las Vegas. Ide was accompanied by his father, Matthew Ide.
Ide said he enjoyed seeing lots of cool gadgets and new technology at the show, which is the largest electronics trade show in the United States.
The grand prize winner in the Samsung competition was Jeffrey Hong, of Carrollton, Texas, who developed an app that allows a smart phone to function like a dashboard camera. He was awarded a $20,000 scholarship, and his Dash’corder app will be marketed by Samsung.
Although Wake Up With Friends will not be marketed through Samsung, Ide said he is in the process of completing development and obtaining a copyright so his app can be sold to the public.
For additional information on Wake Up With Friends and the other finalists in the Samsung Mobile App contest, go to www.scholastic.com/samsungacademy/docs/SamsungAppAcademy_2013Winners.pdf.