Why smart alarm clocks can’t be trusted

Smart alarm clocks like this Echo Dot with Clock have lots of great features, but are missing one key feature.

When you buy a product labeled “smart,” it should be better than the “dumb” version, especially considering it costs twice as much (at least). But that’s not the case with smart alarm clocks, which are very dumb in one specific way.

Smart alarm clocks are bedside buzzers with smart features, letting you set an alarm with just your voice, waking you up with your favorite Spotify playlist, possibly tracking your sleep, and definitely controlling your smart home. Most have touch screens, some have radar, very few have cameras (thankfully), and others can use lighting to wake you up more naturally than a jarring buzzer. But what none of them have is a backup battery, something that’s been standard on the dumb versions for decades.

If your…

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