Company:Now & Zen

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Now & Zen, Inc. is an American company founded by Steve McIntosh in January 1995 [1] that is based in Boulder, Colorado. The Zen Alarm Clock was introduced in early 1996.[2] McIntosh stepped down as CEO in 2012[3]


Now & Zen holds two patents covering both the design and utility aspects of its chiming alarm clocks: U.S. Patent No. Des. 390,121, issued February 3, 1998, and U.S. Patent No. US 6,819,635 B2, issued November 16, 2004.


All Now & Zen products were invented and designed by founder and former CEO Steve McIntosh.[4] The company produced a number of household products in the beginning, but now only produces acoustic alarm clocks and timers.[citation needed]

The Zen Alarm Clock,[5] uses a series of progressive acoustic chimes to wake people gradually.[6] In 2001 the firm introduced a portable, digital version of its chiming alarm clock.[7] In 2005, the firm introduced an alarm clock and timer featuring a six-inch brass bowl-gong, called The Zen Timepiece.[8]


The Zen Alarm Clock was reviewed by New York Times ,[9] Los Angeles Times ,[10] the Good Morning America television show,[11] The Washington Post ,[12] and Good Housekeeping Magazine.[13]


Because of The Zen Alarm Clock's New Age positioning, some reviewers have ridiculed it. In his review of the product in The New York Times , reviewer William L. Hamilton wrote: "It is like a monk losing his temper — om to OM! Now! Tranquil, tenacious — the Dalai Lama as drill sergeant".[14] Similarly, Dads Magazine referred to the aesthetics of the triangular shaped version of the clock as a "hippie carpenter contraption," but nevertheless praised the way it woke users gently and gradually.[15] Moreover, despite the moderate success of The Zen Alarm Clock, the company has also had some failures, such as The Affirmation Station, introduced in 1998, which was designed to wake users with their personal affirmations. However, the product failed to gain consumer acceptance and was discontinued after three years on the market.[16]


  1. That was Zen, this is Now: A former Celestial Seasonings executive builds a new company on a clock that takes its time, Boulder Planet, July 10, 1996
  2. Zen and the art of shut-eye maintenance, Forbes magazine, November 30, 1998
  3. Now & Zen Chimes a Final Time in Boulder, Boulder Daily Camera, August 8, 2012:
  4. "Cool Zen Tools", GQ, December 2000
  5. Thomas, Laura (2004-03-03). "HOT STUFF". 
  6. "Now and Zen, you are the one". 
  7. Company’s new alarm clock a hit, Boulder Daily Camera, November 23, 2001
  8. Now & Zen Introduces Tibetan Bowl-Gong Clock, Boulder Daily Camera, September 3, 2005
  9. A New Crow or Alarm Clocks, New York Times, January 25, 2001
  10. Products to Help Pass or Mark Time, Los Angeles Times, January 6, 2002
  11. Review of Unique Alarm Clocks by Diane Sawyer, Good Morning America, television program, April 14, 2002
  12. Raymond McCaffrey, Alarm Clock Helps Family Escape Fire In Home, The Washington Post, February 21, 2008.
  13. Gentler-Rousing Alarm Clocks, Good housekeeping Magazine, April 3, 2009.
  14. A New Crow or Alarm Clocks, New York Times, January 25, 2001
  15. My Favorite Gifts, Dads Magazine, November/December 2000
  16. Self-help for the sleepy, The Sacramento Bee, December 9, 1998

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