Have trouble waking up on time? New Japanese app Mezamee will charge you when you sleep in
Written by tokyoclub on April 24, 2021
“Oh no, my breakfast money!”
Mornings are tough. Even if you’ve ordered a call from a Japanese fisherman to get you out of bed, it can be tempting to hit that snooze button once, twice, seventeen times.
So what do you do when you don’t want to buy an expensive pillow that physically pushes you awake, but you also need some sort of incentive to crawl out from the covers?
The Japanese smartphone app Mezamee (pronounced “may-zah-mii”) may help solve that problem. They’ve introduced a punishing-yet-effective way of making sure you wake up, get out of bed, and head to work/school on time: by charging you money when you’re late.
▼ Here’s the CEO of Mezamee explaining how it works:
“If you don’t sleep in, it’s free. But if you do, you get charged.”
— 刺青社長 / メザミーCEO / 岡崎雄一郎 (@okazakithe) April 22, 2021
We tested the setup part of Mezamee ourselves, and it’s quite customizable. You pin your wake-up location on Google Maps, pick the date/time you need to leave the house by, choose how much you’ll pay if you don’t (you can set any amount over 100 yen), and then pick a method of payment. If you’re not 100 meters (328 feet) away from your starting location by that time, then you get charged.
Of course the question then becomes, what is Mezamee doing with all that information we feed into it? Giving an app your credit card info and not getting anything except punishment feels a little strange, as well as giving it the info of where you live.
One Twitter user copied a section from the terms of service about how they use private info:
▼ According to #3, they can do what they want with the data, so long as it doesn’t identify individual people with it, which is fairly typical.
— DYS (@DAO_FPS) April 22, 2021
The app seemed worth it to a lot of Japanese netizens, who had comments like this:
“It’s awesome that you can set whatever amount you’re prepared to lose.”
“With this I may finally be able to graduate from being a night owl.”
“I laughed, and yet I also registered with it. Wish me luck.”
“Does it count if you fall asleep on the train on your way to work?”
Honestly an app like this has a lot of potential. It’s still in its early phases, and the CEO has mentioned that they want to implement new features, such as being able to set a whole week of dates/times in advance. Personally I’d love to see some sort of prizes for waking up on time as well, like little mascots you can accumulate if you don’t get charged.
Maybe they could even look like little hair-crabs, one older sister’s artistic punishment for her little sister when she slept in too late.