Monday, September 26, 2011

Great concept from Japan

Is there anything smart phones can't do? In Japan, they're revolutionizing the alarm clock.
OKITE is a Japanese alarm clock app. It's designed to help users wake up, but with a twist: it sends embarrassing messages to the user's Twitter account every time they hit snooze. 
Tofugu, a blog covering Japanese culture, points out that this type of public shaming is uniquely punishing in Japan:
The interesting cultural thing about this app is the whole public shaming thing. In America when you do something shameful it’s all about the person doing the shameful thing. “What’s wrong with you?” “Why would you do that?” etc. In Japan, it’s kind of the opposite. When someone does something shameful, it’s always “What will the neighbors think?” and “What will your classmates think?” Public shame is the most terrifying motivator of all in Japan, and this app plays right in to that.
The app sends out a wide variety of Tweets, some silly and some downright odd.
"From today on I'm going to head to work via unicycle."
"I want to buy a fast red Ferrari and a horse!"
"Just as I thought, I want to become a stewardess."
Those Tweets are gonna need some work if this app is going to fly in the U.S., where the bar for embarrassing oneself seems to be set significantly higher, but that's not the point. I love the concept, and I'd totally use this app if there was an English-language version (and if I actually used Twitter). I'm sure there will be one soon.


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