Stem’s TimeCommand Alarm Dock: For Sleepy Vagabonds
by Robert Evans | September, 2012
We generally regard travel as “vacation” time. It’s odd then that punctuality is often more important when you roam than when you’re sitting safe at home. Being even a little late waking up on the wrong morning can mean the difference between making your flight, or your bus. Deposits are lost and travelers stranded because the wrong alarm was ignored at the wrong time.
Since cell phone alarms and wake-up calls often aren’t enough, there’s a sizable market for any product that can reliably wake world-weary vagabonds after a night long on drinking but short on sleep. Stem’s TimeCommand Dock is a worthy entry to that market.
The TimeCommand is sturdy and small. It fits easily into nooks and crannies in a backpack and can stand a little bit of rough handling.
The accompanying iOS app greatly expands the alarm options of your iPhone or iPad, allowing you to gradually increase the volume of your alarm over several minutes. You can enable or disable sleep mode, and set hard limits for yourself so you don’t sleep in too late.
Best of all for travelers, it has a battery back-up inside that will keep your alarms set in the event of a power failure.
First off, the whole thing isn’t battery-powered. Which means this may work in an unreliable third world hostel, but it won’t work in your jungle tent.
The speakers it packs are wildly superior to the iPhone/iPad stock speakers, but nothing to write home about either.
The fact that this dock only works for iOS devices will also certainly be a sticking point for many.
The Bottom Line
My verdict? If $79.95 doesn’t seem like too much to spend on peace of mind, the Stem TimeCommand is a good buy. It’ll wake you up if you can be woken up.
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Disclosure: Vagabondish received one TimeCommand dock in advance of this review.
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About the Author
Robert Evans makes his living writing about dick jokes and smartphones whilst traveling around the world. He spends most of his time sampling regional intoxicants and trying not to offend anyone dangerous. His hobbies include barefoot running, experimenting with fire poi, and home brewed beer.