Sandman Doppler: The Alarm Clock Evolved

Created by Palo Alto Innovation

Amazon Alexa built-in, 6 USB charging ports, & premium sound... The alarm clock evolved.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Update 45: Doppler is going to the clouds! Android Beta is here, iOS coming soon!
over 1 year ago – Wed, Aug 04, 2021 at 04:51:50 AM

Doppler backers,

We hope you’re all doing well. It’s been a while since we last updated you so we figured we are overdue to let you know what we have been working on. In this update, we will discuss the Android and iOS app betas, new features coming to the Doppler, and we would love to hear from you on the future of the Doppler community.

To the clouds! Beta update!

Ok, this was a bad joke. Sorry.

Our Android beta is now live! With this new release, we have switched the app to communicate via the cloud instead of BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy). This is a major improvement for Doppler and will fix a tremendous number of issues our users have been experiencing. Along with the cloud communication change, the following changes are in this release:

-Multiple Doppler support

-Weather on your Doppler

-Set your Doppler color from your phone

-Set brightness from your phone

-Blackout mode

-Adjustable button brightness

-Improved day and night mode transitioning in color setup mode

-Different colors for day and night mode

-More granular volume controls

-Improved Bluetooth audio

-Lots of other bugs fixes

Our Android beta testers have had generally positive feedback and have already discovered some bugs and improvements we can make to the experience. Thanks to all our beta testers for their initial and continued feedback!

Our Beta testers giving their awesome feedback! Thanks Beta testers!

As we are working on implementing the changes our Android testers have suggested we are also working on the iOS version of the app. Once the iOS version of the app is working as well as the Android beta version we will start the iOS beta. For those that have signed up for the iOS beta, please keep an eye on your email for instructions when we release the software.

If you’d like to become a beta tester, please fill out this form:

We will slowly be adding more Android Beta testers to the fold. Although please keep in mind, we are still just looking for people who are open to software testing so if you aren’t OK with Beta software please continue to be patient, the new app will be generally available shortly!

Another big milestone we would like to share with you all is we have hired our first in-house app developer and will be developing the mobile apps in-house now. Previously, the mobile apps were all outsourced and it was quite literally the only thing other than manufacturing that we outsourced. To say we aren’t happy with the current state of the mobile apps is a massive understatement. We know how much work they need and how much further we can take them. We think hiring developers in-house is going to accelerate that process, and allow the Doppler apps to get more frequent and better updates.

A new place to meet?

As we transition the Doppler from a Kickstarter product to a commercially available smart home product we are also looking for some feedback on where the community should transition to. We would love to help cultivate a community around the Doppler where we could interact a little more easily with all of you. Since only backers can comment on the Kickstarter, we would prefer to have as many people as possible move to a place where everyone can comment. Please post below in your comments where you think the best place to cultivate this community is. We see many potential platform options: Discord, Facebook, Slack, an online forum on our website, or a dedicated subreddit. Let us know in the comments what you think makes the most sense for us and where you think you’ll be the most active.

Choose Wisely!

In this new community group, we would love to discuss our roadmap and where we are looking to take the Doppler. This will allow us to further refine our roadmap and work on the features and bugs that our users actually want!

Haven't gotten your Doppler yet?

Finally, there are still quite a few backers that haven’t received their Dopplers yet. This is because they haven’t filled out their surveys! If you haven’t received your Doppler yet please head over to backerkit and finalize your survey.

If you need any help with this, let us know at

That’s it for now Doppler backers! Looking forward to talking to you on whatever platform you all think is best.

-PAI Team

Doppler updates are incoming and Daylight savings time
about 2 years ago – Sat, Mar 13, 2021 at 10:52:25 PM

Doppler backers,

We have a new version of Doppler that we are looking to roll out to all users. This update is not the big cloud update that we talked about in the previous update, but more of a polish update and preparation for the bigger update coming soon. We also have identified a bug in daylight savings time that we need to let you guys know about.

Daylight savings time

In the United States, the clock will “spring forward” one hour on Sunday, March 14th (Pi day!) as Daylight Saving Time (DST) is turned back on. Because the Doppler is a smart clock, it will automatically adjust itself from 1:59 AM to 2:59 AM, thanks to its wifi connection. But we have identified a bug that could cause the first alarm after the time change to not go off at the correct time. We aren’t sure how many people this bug will affect, and we are confident that will only happen on the first instance of the alarm after a time change. To prevent this from happening, just turn the alarm off and then back on again after the time change (Sunday morning after 2:59 AM). We think we have fixed this bug, but are taking this opportunity to test it before pushing the fix to your Doppler. Countries outside the US that have the Daylight saving time transition on a different day will also have this issue, and you’ll need to cycle your alarm off/on after the transition takes place. Hopefully, we are just being overly cautious and nobody wakes up an hour late on Monday morning! Maybe having a backup alarm is a good idea as well... sorry for the inconvenience!

Polish update

In this update, we are addressing the following issues that some customers have reported:

-The buttons aren’t dark enough at night

-The clock display is too bright at night

-The Doppler is too loud at its lowest setting

-The Display doesn’t dim properly

-I want different colors for day and night modes

The vast majority of these features should be included in our app, which would allow the Doppler to be much more easily configurable. But the app isn’t developed enough for that yet. More on that later…

Because we aren’t happy with how long the app development is taking, we have implemented all of these features in the buttons of the Doppler so the experience is better and more polished. We hope we made them as easy as possible, but if you have any UI suggestions, let us know! As mentioned, all of these functions will be available in the app once the app is more complete so you’ll be able to control these features using either the app or the buttons.

Changes in the new version are as follows:

Blackout mode

Want your Doppler display and buttons to be totally off at night for optimum sleeping? Blackout mode is what you want! If an alarm goes off or a button is pressed, the display and buttons will dim up slowly and then dim back down. To get into Blackout mode you’ll want to go to color setup mode at night (or while the Dopper is in night mode) and press the minus button until the screen goes dark and you see a faint “bl” (that’s a lowercase B and lowercase L) on the mini display (the small display digits on the bottom right-hand corner of the Doppler display). Once you leave color setup mode, the Doppler will dim all the way down. A quick note: Blackout mode is only available in night mode. To check if you’re in night mode, go to color setup mode and make sure the sun icon is off, this says you’re in night mode. Once you leave color setup mode and the display dims down want to see what time it is? Tap any button and the display will brighten momentarily.

Adjustable button brightness

Currently, the Doppler brightness is global and changes the button and display brightness together. Many users have complained that the buttons are too bright at night. In order to fix this, we have removed global brightness and you can now individually control the button and display brightness from the top controls of the Doppler. In order to not confuse things for our users, the button and display brightness will be locked until the button brightness is changed for the first time. To change the button brightness, you’ll want to go into color setup mode and then press the 1 (brightness down) and 2 (brightness up) buttons to adjust brightness. When you’re adjusting the brightness of the buttons, the minus sign appears on the mini display. The brightness of the buttons is configurable for both day and night modes. Hopefully, this should eliminate the issues with the overly bright buttons that some users have reported.

Day and night mode transitioning

The Doppler has a light sensor behind its buttons that will automatically determine if it’s day or night mode. At the moment, this isn’t very customizable and has caused quite a bit of confusion and sometimes improper dimming of the Doppler. Some of the issues occur when a user is in color setup mode and the light sensor detects a “change in brightness” when in reality, it was just the position of the user’s hands while pressing the buttons that blocked some of the light that had previously been entering the light sensor. This can cause a frustrating cycle where you’re trying to change brightness in day mode and you can’t because the Doppler constantly cycles to night mode. So we have decided to prevent the Doppler from switching modes while in color setup mode. If you do want to change both the day and night settings, you can quickly and easily switch between day and night mode by pressing the Bluetooth button. When the Doppler is in day mode, there will be a sun icon on the display. When it’s in night mode, there won’t. The Doppler will remember the settings for both modes and when you leave color setup mode, it will return to the appropriate day/night mode. We are confident that most customers won’t notice this change, but it should fix some edge cases and hopefully help some frustrated customers.

Day and night mode colors

The Doppler will now remember different colors for both day and night modes! While this is just the beginning of what we want to implement for color customization on the Doppler, it’s a good start. To set the color of the Doppler display, go into color setup mode and change the color. While staying in color setup mode, change to the other (day/night) mode by pressing the Bluetooth button and selecting a new color. Finally, leave color setup mode. Now when the Doppler changes modes (between day and night) the color of the display will change as well (if you selected a different color for each mode). If you want the same color for both modes do nothing different and the Doppler will act identically as it does now.

Granular volume controls

Many users have mentioned that the Doppler isn’t quiet enough at night and that we should add more granular volume controls. We are happy to share that the Doppler now has 29 volume steps instead of the 10 it had before. Why 29? Well, that’s the number of dots on the light bar and similar to other products like the Echo that has 30 steps. In order to make sure the volume steps are better than they were before, we tested a bunch of different speakers and the Doppler to determine their minimum and maximum volumes as well as the volume difference between each step along the volume scale.

Some of the speakers we tested

After some tweaking and tuning, we have something we are happy with on the Doppler. Everyone’s ears are different so we will be continuing to tweak it and listening to customer feedback on this.

Other fixes

This update includes numerous bug fixes as well as other small improvements which should increase the performance of the unit and prevent crashes. Most of these changes are on the back end and aren’t visible to the user. This update also contains our fix to the Daylight savings issue mentioned above.

Want this update?

We are going to roll out this update to some testers before pushing it to all Dopplers. If you’d like to get this update first, please let us know by filling out the form at this link:

App improvements

As we mentioned before we are not happy with the current state of the app and things aren’t as polished as we’d like. After many discussions and changes with our app developers, we have come to an agreement and we are moving on to new developers. We are committed to making this app more polished and much more useful and we are confident this is the correct path.

This new app and corresponding Doppler update will be called version 1.0 and it is a huge change and will only require a couple of minutes of your time to get working. We are doing what we can to make the transition as easy as possible, but it’s not going to be the simplest thing in the world to do. There will be more details about this 1.0 update and what is required of you coming soon, but we figured we should let you know it is coming!

Don’t have your Doppler yet?

There are still a couple of backers that haven’t received their Doppler yet. If this is you, please re-confirm your address in backerkit and your Doppler should ship out in a week or so. Here is the link for your Backerkit survey.

Thanks for the feedback!

We wanted to thank all of you again for all of your feedback and know that we are committed to pushing out as many updates, tweaks, and features, as we can, to make your Doppler the best product it can possibly be!

Thanks again for being part of this journey with us. Lots of awesome stuff is coming down the pipeline.

Happy Pi day!

-PAI Team

Shipping update!
over 2 years ago – Sun, Dec 06, 2020 at 12:10:39 AM

Sandman Doppler backers,

Wanted to drop you all a quick update!

Over the last 4 weeks, we have been hard at work shipping Dopplers to all of you lovely backers. We have shipped close to 1,000 Dopplers!

This is how we feel right now! We are happy, but we still have a lot of work to do!

If you haven’t received your Doppler or a tracking number for your Doppler, please verify that you have filled out and finished your Backerkit survey. 

We can’t ship out your orders without confirming your address and if you haven’t confirmed your address in the last month or so, you need to do it again before your Doppler ships.

Here are the instructions again for those that missed it previously (at the top of this update):

Shipping update:

We have gotten the process of flashing, QA, and shipping down pretty much to a science now. It definitely took some long days to figure out how to optimize everything, but our average shipping number has increased slowly to around 60 Dopplers a day. We hope to improve this number over time.

Our shipping volumes over the last 4 weeks

The process goes as so:

After the courier picks up that day’s shipments in the early evening, we figure out how many Dopplers we estimate we can ship the next day and pull them from stock. We then unbox each one and place them on our flashing racks and plug them into power.

Once we power these Dopplers on, they connect to our office WiFi automatically and check into our over the air (OTA) update server. We run a couple of updates automatically on the Dopplers, this process updates the Dopplers to the latest version of software (the version that was certified by Amazon). These updates can take a while so we leave them overnight to update. In the morning, we have a cart full of freshly flashed and ready to be tested Dopplers! If there are any that have WiFi or OTA issues, we pull them aside for a secondary QA.

Once the Dopplers have finished updating, they automatically go into the Doppler Diagnostic Application (DDA) where we go through each one, one by one, and check every function of the Doppler. If anything doesn’t pass our QA, we set it aside for a secondary inspection.

After each Doppler’s functions are verified, they are automatically factory reset and then proceed to a physical inspection where we check the fit and finish of every unit using microfiber cloths.

Each unit that passes visual inspection gets wiped down with a microfiber cloth, boxed, and sealed with the appropriate sticker stating it’s color and USB type. This is also the point in the process where we put the appropriate international plug in the box and convert the Doppler to USB-C if ordered by the customer.

Then, we pack the Doppler in an outer shipping box with some goodies and seal it with our custom tape. Finally, we print and slap a shipping label on the box and it’s ready to go!

We have been shipping so many Dopplers we have been using pallet jacks to move them!
Dopplers in a UPS truck!

Updates are coming!

Now that we have shipped (or will ship once your survey is completed) your Doppler, our job isn’t over. We have some more features to add and things to improve. The Doppler in general is not as polished as we would like and we know this. First and foremost on this list is the app -- we are NOT happy with the current state of the app and are actively working on improving both its functionality and how it communicates with the Doppler. We are in the process of implementing cloud connectivity for the Doppler which would allow both your Doppler and the Sandman App to communicate with a cloud-based server allowing for control of your Doppler from anywhere. There are a couple of advantages to switching to this communication protocol: First off, you’ll be able to control your Doppler from anywhere without needing to be within Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) range. Another advantage is that we won’t be using BLE (for data) and Bluetooth (for audio streaming) at the same time on the Doppler, which has proved to be difficult. This should improve the Bluetooth connection for music which we know has been a problem for some of our users.

Once we have a more solid connection (via the cloud) we will be making improvements to the app which should have been there since the beginning but weren’t. First, we will add the ability to control the brightness and color of the Doppler and the ability to add your location for customized weather.

The Quick buttons (1 and 2) on the top of the Doppler are going to be integrated soon into Alexa routines which should give them incredibly powerful functionality.

We are also working on both Spotify and Apple Music support. Both of these streaming services require extra work, setup, and certifications to be done before they can be enabled in Alexa. For this reason, we decided to launch without them, but we are hoping to get these both certified and added to your Doppler ASAP.

Alexa Calling and Messaging support and Multi-Room Music support also require extra certifications and we are working on approval for both of these newer features of Alexa. These are both very difficult technically and Amazon has strict standards for certification -- We are hopeful both can be added as soon as possible.

Finally, Google Assistant is still something we are hoping to eventually add to the Doppler. It’s still in the backlog and Google has changed the way third-party companies can add Google Assistant to their products, making things more difficult as well. That being said, we are still hopeful and we think it would be awesome to have both services on the Doppler in the future!

We will continue to post Kickstarter updates and send emails as new features are finished and your Doppler will continue to stay automatically updated. If you ever have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to reach out to support!

Now available for sale!

Now that the majority of pre-ordered Dopplers have shipped, we are opening up the Doppler to general sales. We couldn’t have done this without your early support and we truly appreciate you taking a financial risk as well as the time to read these updates. The journey hasn’t always been easy, but we did it! Even if you aren’t 100% happy with your Doppler as it stands now, we strive to improve upon it and make the best product we possibly can via future software updates.

While it might be slightly awkward to end this update with a sales pitch… here it is. Selling more Dopplers means we can hire more developers and accelerate the process of adding new and improved features for all Doppler users. Your support allowed us to get to this point and now we need to sell as many Dopplers as possible! We think the Doppler would make a great holiday gift and if you order soon we will do our best to get it out to you before the holidays. We hope you spread the news of the Doppler to your friends and family. As a thank you for your long-standing support please use coupon code earlysupporter for 20% off of a Doppler on our website. Here is a link:

Thank you again for your continued support and we look forward to updating your Doppler with lots of great new features in the future.


The Doppler is approved and shipping!!!
over 2 years ago – Tue, Nov 10, 2020 at 02:01:45 AM

Sandman Doppler backers,

This is the update you have been waiting for…

The Sandman Doppler is officially Alexa Built-In certified and is now shipping to backers!

This is not a drill. Yes, you read that right. 

As promised, here is a string of GIFs to celebrate:

Once we got official certification we got right to work on shipping out Dopplers.

Here is the first batch of early bird Dopplers flashing to the newest version of Doppler Software:

We are hoping to flash around a hundred Dopplers at once, this is just the first baby step in the ramp-up.

And here are pictures of Dopplers ready to be shipped to the first non Beta customers!!!!!

Please make sure to fill out your surveys! We can’t ship your Doppler until this happens! For more information on that, refer to our previous update in the “What do we need from you?” section:

And also please reference the order we are shipping out the Dopplers in, also in our previous update under the “Shipping the Dopplers” section:

As always, please reach out to if you have any questions or need any help.

Finally, we made a quick setup video for you to show you the Doppler setup process: check it out here: 

We know this was a long and difficult journey. We have spent 4 years of our lives on this product and we are really happy with how it turned out. That being said, it’s not quite over yet. We still have lots of Dopplers to ship and a bunch of awesome new software features coming soon down the pipeline.

Get it? Sand... Ok, we will stop.

Now, we gotta go back to work and ship some more Dopplers!

Thanks again for sticking with us. Keep an eye out for an email with your tracking number!


Action required! Confirm your survey now!
over 2 years ago – Fri, Oct 30, 2020 at 07:12:59 PM

Doppler Backers,

A lot of important information in this update and there is action required from you -- please make sure to read the entire thing!

The Sandman Doppler is in its final stage of certification with Amazon, and we have been told we will be passing very shortly!

This process has taken much longer than expected and it’s been a very frustrating last two months. We only had to make very minor changes to pass all of Amazon’s tests, and the majority of the time spent during the certification process was waiting and asking, usually daily, for some updates from Amazon. The certification process isn’t all public information so we can’t share as much information as we’d like, but things are going to be moving very quickly once we get the official green light.

We can’t wait for our next update with a string of celebration gifs saying the Doppler has been certified, along with pictures of the first customer shipments going out.

What do we need from you?

Now that launch of the Doppler is imminent, we need all backers (that haven’t received their Doppler) to verify their addresses and make sure everything is correct. We want to make sure your Doppler gets sent to the proper address! To do this, you must enter and complete your survey by clicking the link in your original survey email or requesting your survey link under "Lost your survey?" on our BackerKit project page at: 

Enter the email address you used to back the Kickstarter to get your survey

You’ll then want to click through the survey and verify everything is correct. If you’d like, you’ll also be able to add additional Dopplers or accessories at this point. This is your last chance to purchase a Doppler at an introductory price as we are increasing the price for regular orders.

You can also add the optional USB-C upgrade which we will pre-install into your Doppler for you. This upgrade can be installed easily in the future and is available on our website, here:

Place your order by clicking the big green button. This tells us you're good to go!

Once you confirm your address and finish your survey, we will lock in your order and charge any cards that haven’t been charged yet.

It is done!

NOTE: Not everyone is in the same stage of the Backerkit process, so if things don’t look exactly the same as the screenshots, that’s fine. You want to make sure your survey is confirmed.

If you have ANY questions please feel free to reach out to us at

Shipping the Dopplers

We have a very detailed plan for shipping out Dopplers in the order that allows us to ship out as many Dopplers as fast as possible. We have spent a long time thinking about this shipping plan to make it as fair as possible for as many backers as possible. First off, as mentioned in earlier updates we will be prioritizing domestic over international orders. 70% of our backers are domestic and this allows us to move as much inventory as fast as possible because domestic orders are faster and easier to ship out. International backers, we will get your order out as soon as possible!

As for the order of the domestic shipments, we will be doing the early bird backers first and then continuing on in roughly backer number order.

You’ll be receiving an email from Backerkit with a tracking number when your Doppler ships.

We know that many of you are going to want these units in your house before the Christmas season. We are truly doing everything we can to make sure this happens.

Live chat and support

In an effort to help our current and future customers with any issues they might have, we have implemented a live chat system onto our websites, including We are doing our best to hire and train some more customer service representatives ASAP as well, but please bear with us if there are slow response times on live chat. That being said, if you have issues with your order, Backerkit, or your Doppler, please give the live chat a try. Email support is already all set up and we will do everything we can to respond within 1 business day. Email support can be found at

Please don't say hi, just to say hi! We are gonna be busy!

Press for the Doppler

We wanted to give everyone a heads up that some pre-certification Dopplers have been sent to various reporters and journalists. We hope you understand that we had to ship these units before your units shipped. But we wanted to guarantee again that any Dopplers available to the general public will ship AFTER all Kickstarter orders have been shipped. We have backed campaigns before and know how awful it feels when you see a product you already backed available for sale before your unit shipped. We will make sure this won’t happen, but we are doing everything we can to prepare for regular retail orders.


We have just added a bunch of new Sandman-branded apparel and accessories to our website. We are super happy with how everything turned out. We have t-shirts, sweatshirts, blankets, pillows, and even a fanny pack!

Here is the link:

We think they are reasonably priced and the quality of the products is excellent. All of these items are printed on-demand so if there is something you would like to see and don’t, reach out and let us know! We’d also like to mention that the products are made by a different company, so your order won’t slow down Doppler shipments.

We have a lot more available on our site! Sweatpants, shirts, mugs, blankets, and more. Even fanny packs!

Till the next update...

Thanks again for all your support!

-PAI Team