Are You Sleeping?: Sharing Portrayed Sleeping Status Within a Social Network

Sunyoung Kim, Julie A. Kientz, Shwetak Patel, Gregory D. Abowd


Within a group of peers, it is often useful or interesting to know whether someone in the group has gone to bed or whether they have awakened in the morning. This information, naturally integrated as a peripheral augmentation of an alarm clock, allows people to know whether it is appropriate to make a call or feel more connected with someone living remotely. In this paper, we present the design and evaluation of such an alarm clock, the BuddyClock, and describe how it enables users in a small social network to automatically share information about their sleeping behaviors with one another. Through 3-6 week deployment studies of this technology with five different social networks, we found that the alarm clock affected participant behaviors and allowed them to feel more connected to those with whom they shared their sleeping behaviors.