Finally, Mark Zuckerberg invented something for the common good. Even more impressive, he gave it away to someone else to be developed – and it’s raising money like gangbusters on Kickstarter.
It all came out of a sleep hack he built for his wife, Priscilla. Last April, he created a wooden box that sat on the bedside table and glowed a soft light between 6 and 7 am – right before Priscilla had to get up and wake the kids. Previously, Zuckerberg wrote on Instagram in April “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.” The Sleep Box, as Zuckerberg called it, didn’t stress her out by telling her the exact time.
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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. So I worked on building her what I call the "sleep box". It sits on her nightstand, and between the hours of 6-7am it emits a very faint light — visible enough that if she sees it she'll know it's an okay time for one of us to get the kids, but faint enough that the light won't wake her up if she's still sleeping. And since it doesn't show the time, if she wakes up in the middle of the night, she knows to just go back to sleep without having to worry about what time it is. So far this has worked better than I expected and she can now sleep through the night. 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. 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!
Zuck announced that he’d give the idea away, since there seemed to be some clamor for it: “a bunch” of his friends wanted one, too. He posted it to Facebook, saying he’d be fine with another techie taking the idea and running with it.
That’s what developer Greg Hovannisyan, who does not know Mark Zuckerberg, did. After building a prototype he launched the “Zucklight” on crowdfunding site Kickstarter in June with a goal of $5,000. Now, it’s at $188,116, with the funding period ending on August 12th.
While there’s the original basic Zucklight, more bells-and-whistles versions are available higher cost. The Zucklight Plus lets you charge your wireless device with a built-in charging pad. The Zucklight Pro is serious, with sensors that track a room’s carbon dioxide levels, as well as humidity and temperature.
Here’s the finished Zucklight. You can pre-order the most basic version on Kickstarter for $34.