Microsoft has launched an app that makes users complete a tongue twister to switch off an alarm in the morning. Mimicker Alarm, which launched on Android Wednesday, is a free alarm clock app that makes users complete one of three small tasks to switch off the alarm. If the user doesn't complete the task in time, the app assumes it needs to start ringing again to wake the owner up.
Beyond tongue twisters, users may also have to pull a face and take a selfie, for example "mimic a happy face," or take a photo of an object that matches a color. The games all take 30 seconds, requiring users to have lightning fast reflexes at the moment they wake.
It sounds like a gimmick, but Microsoft's app showcases three application programming interfaces (APIs) that developers can currently harness for their own projects. The app is open source, so developers can read through the code to get a better understanding of how it works.
The three APIs are one of the many included parts of Project Oxford, an artificial intelligence platform. Oxford was previously used to develop the "How Old Do I Look" tool, a website that launched in April with the promise of guessing a user's age based on a photo.
The Mimicker app is the work of Microsoft Garage, an organization within the company that brings together employees from various divisions to work on small-scale projects. Other releases include Mouse Without Borders, which allows for control of up to four computers with just one keyboard and mouse, and FindTime, an app that helps users collaborate and organize a time to meet.