Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been flexing his industrial design muscles with his latest project, a "sleep box" that he built for his wife and shared on Instagram over the weekend. "Being a mom is hard, and since we've had kids Priscilla has had a hard time sleeping through the night. She'll wake up and check the time on her phone to see if the kids might wake up soon, but then knowing the time stresses her out and she can't fall back asleep," he wrote. "As an engineer, building a device to help my partner sleep better is one of the best ways I can think of to express my love and gratitude."
The low-tech solution Zuckerberg came up with is a wooden box with a slight reveal at the bottom that emits a sliver of light between 6 and 7 in the morning. If she wakes up and doesn't see the light, she'll know it's too early and go back to sleep without having to look at her phone. If she wakes up and sees the light on, she'll know it's a decent time to get up, but it's dim enough to let her sleep in if that's what she needs. "So far this has worked better than I expected and she can now sleep through the night," Zuckerberg wrote.
Reactions ranged from calling the design "genius" to questioning it entirely, especially since it lacks the added functionality of many light alarm clocks that are already on the market. But we're kind of fascinated by this ultra-specific approach to a problem that, ironically, Zuckerberg's company fuels with addictive apps that too many of us turn to when insomnia strikes.
Zuckerberg explained that he decided to share his design in case anyone wants to develop it further. "A bunch of my friends have told me they'd want something like this, so I'm putting this out there in case another entrepreneur wants to run with this and build sleep boxes for more people!" At least one enthusiastic commenter (himself a new father) has taken him up on the challenge, claiming to have already registered the domain www.GetSleepBox.com and requested prototypes from a factory in China.