Review: Moshi voice control alarm clock
Product: Moshi voice control alarm clock
Features: This hands-free alarm clock is set by your spoken commands. Some functions also are activated by touching the screen. Say "Hello Moshi" and it will respond with, "command please." Follow up by saying a command, such as time, set time, alarm, set alarm, alarm sound, sleep sound, play sleep sound, today's date, temperature, night light or help.
It's AC-powered with three AAA batteries as a backup. Has three alarm sounds, three sleep sounds, a multicolored night light, tells the temperature in the room and has a snooze function. Screen is 7.5 inches wide and 3.25 inches tall.
Ups: It's really cute, and does a good job understanding what you say most of the time. The alarm sounds gradually get louder. No need to fumble for a button -- just press on the screen to have it snooze for nine minutes or hit it twice to turn off the alarm.
Downs: The voice controls do have their quirks. Sometimes Moshi will ask for your command if you didn't even say its name. (One time it randomly went off while I was having a conversation in my room.) And the opposite also happens -- sometimes it won't respond when you're saying "Hello, Moshi," but you can always just tap the screen and it'll be ready for your command.
Very rarely it would misunderstand me, but it does happen. I told it to set the alarm for 5 p.m., and it responded, "Alarm set for 10 a.m." Wait, what? No, Moshi! When the alarm is going off, you can shut it off by saying, "Turn off the alarm," but it doesn't always hear your groggy voice over the sound of the alarm.
If you are someone who always wants to be able to just glance over at the time, you won't be able to in the dark unless you set the whole screen to stay lit overnight or tap the screen to light it up. (Not exactly a downer, depending on your alarm clock preferences.)
Bottom line: It's a real fun alarm clock -- and especially handy for the blind. But if you want more features, keep an eye out in stores for different Moshi clocks in the future. The maker's Web site promises more accessories and features on the way, like a voice-activated clock that can play your mp3s.
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