by Howard Samuels
Read this review to receive a discount code on Ditto!
Ditto is a small device that vibrates to provide you with alerts from your phone. It is focused on that one task, eschewing the feature creep that plagues so many consumer products.
From the manufacturer:
We created Ditto as a kind of anti-gadget – something to free people from worrying about their smartphones and to be more present in life. Ditto is tiny and elegant. No buttons, switches, lights displays, or cables. Less is more.
Ditto vibrates when you get an incoming phone call, a text, an email, or a notification from a large and growing portfolio of third-party apps. You don’t have to be inundated with constant vibrations, however. You can choose which apps will cause the Ditto to vibrate, and you can also select important people from your list of contacts, or allow alerts from anybody.
Straying ever so slightly from the ‘simple is better’ mantra, Ditto can also alert you when you are far away from your phone. This is helpful if you are prone to leaving your phone behind – Ditto will vibrate before you get too far away. The distance varies, but it is basically the range of the Bluetooth connection.
For cochlear implant HELP readers, perhaps the most important function is Ditto’s ability to vibrate at a preset time – it’s an alarm clock! Rather than large and expensive bed shakers or flashing lights, you can clip Ditto to your sleepwear, or wear it on the included wristband. My preference is to use the wristband because I can leave it on all day and all night. Ditto is waterproof, so you can wear it in the shower. The included thin and durable neoprene wristband looks great, but it does tend to stay wet for quite a while. And because it vibrates on your wrist, it won’t wake up your partner.
To set an alarm, go to the Alarm screen, choose one of the alarms to set, and set the time of day. You can assign a name to the alarm to be displayed on your phone when the alarm occurs. This can be helpful if you have set several different alarms and need to know which one is begging for your attention. The alarm can be set to vibrate its pattern one time, or it can repeat every two minutes for ten minutes, or until you turn it off.
Once an alarm has rung, it stays off unless you enable it again in the Ditto app. A recurrence feature would be helpful, so that you could set the alarm to wake you on the days you work each week without having to remember to set the alarm each night.
The Ditto web site has some short instructional videos to show you how to set up Ditto, attach it to the wristband, change the batteries, etc. The videos are available from within the Ditto app as well.
Ditto uses a single CR1632 button cell disposable battery, which lasts 3-6 months. When the battery gets low, you receive a notification to change the battery soon. The CR1632 battery generally isn’t sold in local pharmacies, but it is readily available from Amazon and other online sources.
Ditto is far more convenient and portable than traditional alarms targeted at the deaf and hard of hearing market. Because it is a high-volume consumer product, it costs much less than dedicated wakeup systems. And its main purpose of notifying you when you receive phone calls, texts, etc, is very useful. Ditto is a cost-effective alternative to a smart watch if the only goal is to receive notifications from your phone. Two additional features would make it a perfect fit – recurring alarms, and a wristband that dries more quickly.
Cochlear implant HELP reader can enjoy a 20% discount until October 31st, 2016, by using discount code cochlear20!
Two Ditto devices were provided by Simple Matters for the purpose of this review.