When morning rolls around, I don't think that there's anything that I despise more at that moment than the sun. It's like an alarm clock without a snooze button, and because of it I've been waking up between 5:30-6am every day for the last few days. It also doesn't help that I'm sleeping in an unfamiliar room. I just want to sleep until 7ish – 6:45am would be nice and give me plenty of time to get ready for work.
What I really want is a way to automatically control the amount of sunlight that makes it into my room that early in the morning. There are a few ways I could do this.
The easiest system would be to just completely block my windows and rely on my internal clock and an alarm clock to wake up at the right time. Unfortunately, I'm the type of person that will stare at a clock for an hour if I wake up too early just so I don't get jarred out of my sleep from an alarm. Which brings up the other obvious fault with this – alarms are a horrible way to wake up.
Another way that I've toyed around with in my head is to block out the windows like with the last idea, and create a light system that will go from off to completely on gradually over a given time period. The idea is to create an artificial sunrise on your own schedule, allowing you to wake up more naturally. The problem? Light and sunlight just aren't the same thing, and while it may be easier on the body than a horrible buzzer or radio turning on, the body won't react to it quite like it would to sunlight. Also, who really wants to have their windows covered all the time?
So what does that leave? Computer controlled window blinds. The system would be similar to the artificial sunrise idea, except rather than dimming lights, the system would slowly open the blinds. Besides the coolness of having things move on their own, this could be practical for other applications. For instance, if it were coupled with a couple temperature sensors, all the blinds in your house could close automatically during the hot summer days to prevent your home from getting crazy-hot – saving money and energy on air-conditioning.