There’s alarm clock apps that force you to spin around, and ones that require you to move closer to your router. Then there’s Wakie, an app that encourages random strangers around the world to wake you up with a phone call.

Wakie has actually existed before, as it’s the international version of the Russian-language wake up app called Budist. The Wakie brand has also been alive in the US since 2011, but aimed squarely at Russian speakers there. However, fresh from a $1 million funding round, it’s all systems go for Wakie in other markets.

For now, Wakie is open to those in the US, Canada, UK, Singapore and Hong Kong – if you’re the one wishing to be woken. But if you’re happy playing the exclusive role of ‘waker’, you can sign up anywhere.

Wakie is available for Android and Windows Phone, though the iPhone version is currently awaiting approval from Apple, so it should be live very soon.

How it works

To use Wakie, you have to be prepared to sign in using your phone number. Wakie promises that your number will remain ‘safe and anonymous’.

Wakie’s community consists of Wakies (callers) and Sleepyheads (yup). If you want an alarm call, you just set an alarm time through the app, and when the wake-up time arrives, you’ll be connected to a Wakie of a similar age and the opposite gender. With that condition enforced, Wakie suddenly meanders on a slightly different trajectory, but we digress.

Calls last for one minute, with phone numbers never shared.

b1 220x380 Forget alarm clocks, Wakie wakes you with phone calls from strangers    c1 220x380 Forget alarm clocks, Wakie wakes you with phone calls from strangers

If you’re a Wakie, you can see how many Sleepyheads are scheduled to waken and offer to help by hitting the ‘Wake Someone Up’ button. When the call ends, Sleepyheads are invited to rate the Wakie.

d1 220x380 Forget alarm clocks, Wakie wakes you with phone calls from strangers    e 220x380 Forget alarm clocks, Wakie wakes you with phone calls from strangers

But wait – if a Wakie isn’t available, doesn’t this mean you’ll sleep in and be late for work? Not quite, this scenario is catered for, as an automated call kicks in.

Similar initiatives have been available in the past, for example Talkoclock was available a while back, but has since ceased to exist. It’s a quirky idea for sure, but with 30 million wake up calls placed from 1.5 million users in Russia, there’s no reason why it can’t take off around the world too.

Wakie is available to download now for free.

➤ Wakie: Google Play | Windows Phone