The new alarm clock app Wakie for your smartphone lets you start the morning with a conversation with a complete stranger from anywhere in the world. The innovative app is a promising and potentially awkward alternative way to wake up.

The concept of the app is simple: you set a time in which someone will call you, much like the kind of wake-up call you get at a hotel. But instead of the usual concierge formalities, the app encourages you to chat with the caller to prove you are awake. After a minute, the call will automatically disconnect you so that the conversation doesn’t become drawn out and you can get on with your day.

The entire experience is safe and completely anonymous. When you receive the phone call, it will only display the country of origin. If no one is available to call you, one of Wakie’s robocallers will wake you up instead.

One limitation of the app is that if your ringtone volume is not turned up, you might sleep through the phone call. We recommend that you set a backup alarm just in case. Also, there’s no snooze option, which is fine with us because using the snooze button is not a healthy sleep habit.

If you want to wake someone up, the app will find and call for you a random user whose alarm is set to go off. If you’re at a loss for something to talk about, Wakie recommends that you speak gently, sing or play music or ask questions.

We were unable to try out the app for ourselves, since it is not yet available for this writer’s platform of choice, the iPhone. Wakie is currently available as a free download on Google Play and the Windows Marketplace. An iPhone version is under review by the App Store Review Team and promises to be out in the near future.